Docstoc

Recall of Off-Duty Personnel for Large Scale Emergencies

Document Sample
Recall of Off-Duty Personnel for Large Scale Emergencies Powered By Docstoc
					                                                              Recall of Personnel   1

RECALL OF OFF-DUTY PERSONNEL




       Executive Analysis of Fire Service Operations in Emergency Management




              Recall of Off-Duty Personnel for Large Scale Emergencies

                                Richard C. Edinger

                 Chesterfield Fire and Emergency Medical Services

                               Chesterfield, Virginia




                                  September 2006
                                                                        Recall of Personnel          2



                                CERTIFICATION STATEMENT


I hereby certify that this paper constitutes my own product, that where the language of others is

set forth, quotation marks so indicate, and that appropriate credit is given where I have used the

language, ideas, expressions, or writings of another.




                                      Signed: _____________________________
                                                                       Recall of Personnel        3




                                             Abstract

       The problem was Chesterfield Fire and Emergency Medical Services was unable to

efficiently call personnel back to duty. The research purpose was to study this inadequacy so

that organizational processes could be modified to address the problem. Descriptive research

determined; what personnel recall processes other organizations were using; what regulations

influenced personnel recalls; the likelihood of personnel returning to duty; and which existing

practices would influence a revised process. Research procedures included literature review, a

questionnaire and an interview of a department project manager. The results revealed this issue

to be inherent to many organizations providing critical services. Recommendations were made to

include updating existing procedures and making use of existing technology to refine the process

of off-duty personnel notifications.
                                                                                                            Recall of Personnel                     4



                                                                CONTENTS

Abstract ............................................................................................................................................3

Introduction......................................................................................................................................5

Background and Significance ..........................................................................................................6

Literature Review...........................................................................................................................11

Procedures......................................................................................................................................28

Limitations ………………………………………………………………………………………31

Results............................................................................................................................................32

Discussion ......................................................................................................................................49

Recommendations..........................................................................................................................62

References......................................................................................................................................67

Appendix A …………………………………,,…………………………………………………71

Appendix B ……………………………………………………………………………………..75

Appendix C ……………………………………………………………………………………..79
                                                                         Recall of Personnel         5

                   Recall of Off-Duty Personnel for Large Scale Emergencies

                                            Introduction

       The American fire service has evolved over the past few decades from a service delivery

system which was primarily tasked with only fire suppression to one with all hazards

responsibilities (Coleman & Granito, 1988). As this evolution has occurred fire service managers

have found their departments more frequently involved in complex, large-scale emergencies.

These have ranged from terrorist bombings to mass casualty incidents to response to hurricanes

and other natural disasters. When large-scale incidents confront a fire department, it may be

necessary to call off-duty personnel back to duty to supplement existing forces.

       In all but the largest metropolitan departments a significant emergency, with a

corresponding commitment of apparatus and personnel, may require that the organizational

leadership consider supplementing existing personnel resources with additional staff. A common

approach to this problem is the use of mutual aid. Mutual aid is normally either requested

through formal means (i.e., pre-determined via a written agreement), or is automatic as in when

the closest unit is sent to a call for service, regardless of jurisdictional boundaries (Coleman &

Granito, 1988). In either case, mutual aid is dependant on the department that is being asked to

assist having the ability to send the resources that have been requested. During large-scale

emergencies which affect multiple jurisdictions, mutual aid resources from surrounding

departments may not be readily available due to needs in their own city or county.

       In combination (e.g. career and volunteer staffed) departments, supplemental staffing can

normally be achieved by utilizing volunteer personnel to assist. But these types of systems are

dependant on the availability of those volunteer resources. When the volunteer component of a

combination department has been fully deployed or the request for volunteer response is
                                                                          Recall of Personnel           6

insufficient, it may also be necessary to recall off-duty career personnel back to service. If a fire

service organization has not considered the need to supplement on-duty personnel resources

during major emergencies, the timely and efficient response of off-duty personnel back to work

assignments may be challenging.

       The research problem is that Chesterfield Fire and Emergency Medical Services

(CFEMS) is not able to quickly and efficiently call personnel back to active duty when needed.

Anecdotally, this has resulted in inadequate staffing levels during major emergencies. The

purpose of this research is to identify and describe factors which influence personnel recalls and

evaluate how other organizations perform this task.

       Descriptive research will be used to guide this project. The questions that will be

researched are; what, if any, personnel recall processes are other fire service organizations using;

what, if any, laws, regulations or policies influence the ability to call off-duty personnel back to

duty; how many personnel are likely to return to duty, if called; and which, if any, existing

organizational processes, procedures or practices would support or influence the implementation

of a standardized personnel recall process?

                                     Background and Significance

       Located in central Virginia, Chesterfield County encompasses 446 square miles in the

Richmond metropolitan area. Chesterfield Fire and Emergency Medical Services (CFEMS) is a

combination department of over 600 career and volunteer personnel staffing 29 fire and rescue

stations. The department serves approximately 300,000 people and responded to more than

37,000 calls for service in 2005. (Chesterfield County, 2006). The calls for service are divided

primarily between emergency medical services (EMS) accounting for approximately 70% of the

responses, and fire suppression and other types of responses for the remaining 30%.
                                                                        Recall of Personnel         7

       In keeping with the all hazards approach of many fire departments, in addition to fire

suppression and emergency medical services, CFEMS maintains hazardous incident (hazmat),

water and dive rescue and technical rescue teams. The personnel that respond to these

specialized incidents are not assigned to these teams full time but rather assume team roles and

responsibilities as needed. In CFEMS, specialty team response is derived largely from on-duty

career personnel staffing existing engine, truck and medic riding positions. In this configuration,

specialty team personnel deploying on a team response create staffing voids on front line

apparatus thus causing some apparatus to be taken out of service. In most cases, the existing on-

duty force can absorb personnel resources allocated to a specialty team response without the

need for mutual aid assistance. If the incident that generates a specialty team response is

significant and requires on-duty team resources to be supplemented, the incident commander has

the option of recalling off-duty team members or calling for mutual aid specialty team response

from surrounding jurisdictions. In either instance, the delay in acquiring additional resources can

and has had detrimental effects on the control and mitigation of large scale incidents.

       The volunteer component of CFEMS consists of fire and EMS cross-trained and EMS

only personnel. CFEMS’ integrated response system has within it, four volunteer rescue squads

that maintain multiple stations within the County. These volunteer EMS personnel, staffing

rescue squad owned ambulances, work in concert with fire-based first response from engine

companies as well as ambulances staffed by cross-trained CFEMS career personnel. The

county’s EMS system ensures advanced life support response which is provided by both career

and volunteer EMS personnel. Based on this tiered response, the county’s integrated emergency

medical system routinely allocates both career and volunteer fire and EMS resources to requests

for emergency medical service.
                                                                          Recall of Personnel          8

       Cross-trained fire volunteers contribute to the system by staffing their own dedicated fire

apparatus with periodic duty crews on nights and weekends. If their stations are dispatched but

no volunteer duty crew exists, the volunteers are alerted by radio pagers and are free to travel to

their stations to staff apparatus. Further, some primarily career-staffed fire stations have

volunteer personnel with no assigned volunteer apparatus. These volunteer personnel may ride

the career units as their personal schedules permit. As with many combination departments the

availability of volunteer personnel fluctuates dependent on the time of day and day of the week.

Although dedicated volunteer duty crews do allow for some advanced operational planning,

there are still variations in the overall availability of volunteer resources which complicate

resource management tasks during large scale incidents.

       CFEMS personnel resources are also impacted during large incidents due to the

organization’s responsibilities to Chesterfield County’s emergency management system. The

county’s emergency management staff is located within the fire department’s command structure

and a number of the department’s officers serve in the capacity of Emergency Operations Center

(EOC) managers and support staff. When large events occur it is not unusual for several of the

department’s mid to upper level managers to be located in the EOC with emergency management

responsibilities assigned. This further erodes the availability of qualified officers to staff other

needed command and control positions, particularly when the event is unforeseen (e.g.

tornadoes) and the EOC has to staffed without prior warning.

       Due to the size and complexity of the organization and it’s responsibilities to protect the

citizens of Chesterfield County, command and control activities during large scale incidents have

suffered due to a lack of organization and staffing (Sacra, 2005). The department is compliant

with the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and as such, has a number of positions
                                                                         Recall of Personnel          9

that must be filled during large incidents. With the aforementioned additional responsibilities

that the department maintains, and the size and complexity of the organization, sustaining

enough qualified officers to staff key positions has been problematic. This is especially difficult

during nights, weekends and holidays when personnel assigned to daytime staff positions are not

readily available to assume needed operational roles and responsibilities.

       Chesterfield County and the Richmond metropolitan area have experienced a number of

significant emergencies over the past several decades that have taxed local and regional

resources. These events have included fire conflagrations, hurricanes, tornadoes and flash floods.

Due to existing mutual aid agreements, the departments in the Richmond metropolitan area

routinely support each other with fire and EMS resources. However, in several of these

instances, the severity and scale of the emergency have limited the ability for mutual aid to be

provided across jurisdictional boundaries. In those cases, the individual departments have had to

rely largely on their own, internal resources to control the incident.

       On August 6, 1993 several tornadoes struck Chesterfield County and the surrounding

cities of Petersburg and Colonial Heights, Virginia. These events, which resulted in mutual aid

resources being called from throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia, caused four deaths and

hundreds of injuries (Rubin, 1994). The largest of a number of incidents this date, was due to one

of the tornadoes cutting a swath through an occupied Wal-Mart Super Center in the city of

Colonial Heights. The damage caused by that tornado and a subsequent building collapse of the

Wal-Mart resulted in hundreds of injuries and a massive response of emergency resources. To

staff operational units and specialty team responses, CFEMS performed a recall of off-duty

personnel in support of the responses generated by the events of this day.
                                                                         Recall of Personnel        10

       Another more recent example of a major emergency in Chesterfield County was Tropical

Storm Gaston. On August 30, 2004, the remnants of Tropical Storm Gaston dumped between

five and ten inches of rain over the Richmond metropolitan area in a period of just several hours.

The resultant flash flooding that occurred challenged the department as never before. Multiple

swift water rescues were performed and a large affected area of the county was evacuated. The

floodwaters caused public infrastructure failures and also adversely affected the Virginia State

Emergency Operations Center which is located in the northern section of Chesterfield County

and had been activated in response to the storm. This event, with the rescues that ensued, has

been characterized as the most hazardous work period in the department’s history (Chesterfield

County Fire and Emergency Medical Services [CFEMS], 2005) and has brought to the forefront

the need for better organizational planning and staffing for major incidents. As a result of this

event, a CFEMS workgroup was formed to study the department’s response. Among the group’s

primary objectives were to evaluate the event outcomes and propose more effective and efficient

ways to respond to large scale emergencies in and around Chesterfield County.

       CFEMS currently maintains an organizational procedure that addresses personnel recalls.

As presently written it is primarily geared toward volunteer personnel with several different

levels of call back notification processes (Chesterfield Fire and Emergency Medical Services,

[CFEMS], 2000) [Addendum A]. More recently modifications have been added addressing the

recall of career personnel. In spite of the events noted herein, it has been rare for the department

to perform recalls of career personnel.

       Since the personnel recall procedure has been written CFEMS has implemented an

automated staffing software program named Telestaff. This computerized staffing management

system has been integrated into department staffing practices for over one year and is presently
                                                                        Recall of Personnel       11

used to offer minimum staffing (i.e. overtime) opportunities to career personnel. Preliminary

discussions have occurred about the feasibility of using this technology for personnel recalls but

no further work has been done toward this objective.

       Adequate staffing of resources is critical to the successful and safe provision of services

that are provided by fire departments (Gleason, 2002). As Chesterfield County has grown in

population, business and infrastructure, the scale and complexity of incidents which its public

safety departments are asked to respond to have also grown. As noted, the need for qualified

personnel to staff key command positions is important for the overall management of large,

complex incidents. And not all of these large-scale events occur with advanced notice. It is

vitally important that CFEMS maintain a systematic process for efficiently and efficiently

recalling personnel back to service when needed to support the mitigation of large-scale

emergency events.

       This research specifically relates to the United States Department of Homeland Security’s

Operational Objective 4.2, which is to provide scalable and robust all-hazard response capability

(United States Department of Homeland Security, [DHS], 2004). The research also speaks to the

National Fire Academy’s Executive Analysis of Fire Service Operations in Emergency

Management (National Fire Academy, 2004b) course curriculum which notes that fire service

organizations should identify potentially critical shortfalls and develop methodologies for

obtaining those needed resources (SM 6-1).

                                            Literature Review

       As noted in Management of Fire Service Operations (Coleman, 1978), no single fire

department can expect to support operations equal to the largest problem the department may

ever face (p. 460). As such, fire service organizations can expect, at one time or another, to have
                                                                           Recall of Personnel      12

to bring off-duty personnel back to work. In response to this probability, the first descriptive

research question posed is what, if any, personnel recall processes are other fire service

organizations using? It is evident from reviewing literature that CFEMS is not alone in the

struggle to maintain adequate staffing levels during large-scale emergencies. Staffing for both

apparatus and command and control positions is a key consideration for any response to major

emergencies. And fire service organizations should maintain personnel recall procedures which

are essential for operating during these critical periods (Gratz, 1972).

       Looking beyond what specific processes other departments may be using; one must first

question what influences drive the need for departments to maintain personnel recall processes.

With better building and fire prevention codes and fire protection technology, the large, urban

fire conflagrations of yesteryear are largely a thing of the past. But replacing those challenges are

the fact that the fire service is continually asked to do more with less and in different operational

venues than the past. Over the past three decades the fire service has expanded into formerly

non-traditional roles, which include emergency medical services, emergency management and

specialized response capabilities. These fire service responsibilities generate dual-role, multi-

discipline firefighters responding to specialized fire service missions. These personnel

configurations add to the staffing complexities presented when large emergencies strike a

community and the fire service is expected to quickly and effectively respond.

       Additionally, during disasters and significant emergencies, the fire service finds itself in

different operational relationships than traditionally found in day-to-day activities. These include

interacting with different types of agencies and personnel, loss of some organizational autonomy

as the fire service blends into multi-agency, multi-discipline missions, changing performance

standards to meet the needs of the event and blurring of organizational boundaries to work with
                                                                           Recall of Personnel      13

other agencies and integrate into incident management structures (Coleman, 1978; Quarantelli,

1984). These situations can lead to organizations having to staff operational needs that expand

well beyond the traditional apparatus riding positions needed during these critical situations.

         Influencing response to large-scale incidents, disasters seemingly have struck on a regular

basis during the past several decades. 1992 brought Hurricane Andrew which began a succession

of active hurricane seasons still experienced today. Adding to natural disasters, the nation began

encountering terrorism strikes in the homeland with the first World Trade Center bombing in

New York in 1993, the Oklahoma City bombing on April 19, 1995 and the infamous multiple

attacks in New York, Virginia and Pennsylvania on September 11, 2001. Incident commanders

managing large incidents that significantly tax on-duty resources should consider that the recall

of off-duty personnel can quickly double or triple available personnel resources (Auf der Heide,

1989).

         In Protecting Emergency Responders (Rand Foundation, 2003), a study conducted by the

Rand Foundation under contract to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the National

Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), validated previous findings that the

response of off-duty personnel and volunteers to major disasters was many times chaotic and

unorganized. The lack of existing personnel recall procedures and an associated accountability

process for returning personnel led to confusion and responder safety issues during many recent

disasters and major emergencies (p. 66). As noted in the study;

         “Well-designed workforce recall procedures can reduce the inclination of off-duty

         responders to rush directly to the disaster scene rather than reporting to predestinated

         personnel reporting sites. Better plans, redundant communications, and periodic and

         realistic recall exercises all strengthen workforce discipline” (p. 67).
                                                                        Recall of Personnel         14

         The ensuing recommendation from the Rand study was that communities should adopt

improved processes to manage the recall of personnel and volunteers that respond, unsolicited, to

significant incidents.

         Arlington County, Virginia did not have a formal personnel recall process in place when

American Airlines Flight #77 crashed into the Pentagon on September 11, 2001 (Arlington

County, 2002). But the size and complexity of that event required that the department amass

enough resources to deal with this major emergency. Due to the severity of the events that day

and the ensuing media coverage, the vast majority of off-duty Arlington County Fire Department

(ACFD) personnel reported back to duty in spite of the lack of official notification to do so (p.

A-39).

         And while ACFD did not have a formal personnel recall process on September 11, 2001

the Fire Department of New York (FDNY) did. There are numerous anecdotal accounts of how

FDNY personnel reported back to duty on 9-11 with the vast majority of personnel self-

dispatching based on media reports of the terrorist strikes. In written testimony provided to

National Institute of Standards and Technology in November 2004, Chief of the FDNY Peter

Hayden noted that as a result of the 9-11 attacks, the department has revised and improved their

personnel recall processes to include the ability to call back personnel by geographic region or

based on staffing and apparatus needs to support a specific event (National Institute of Standards

and Technology, 2004).

         Fire departments are not the only agencies or businesses that need to be concerned with

the ability to rapidly call back non-working personnel. The same issues are present for other

public safety agencies, most notably police departments, which face many of the same issues, as

do fire departments (Stauber, 2004). The military also maintains protocols for the recall of
                                                                         Recall of Personnel      15

personnel who do not maintain residency on military bases or are on personal leave. In the

private sector business environment, hospitals and public utilities also face unforeseen events

which may overwhelm normal staffing levels. As with public safety and other critical

governmental agencies, private sector employers also need to have systems in place to efficiently

and effectively perform off-duty personnel recall tasks (Cave, 2002; Stauber, 2004).

       By law, municipalities are required to maintain Emergency Operations Plans (EOP) that

outline community response and guide local and state governments during times of crisis. In

many instances the procedure for the recall of key personnel are notated in EOPs. As

documented in Managing Fire Services (Coleman & Granito, 1978):

       “The functional annex also needs to provide for the emergency recall of personnel. …

       This comprehensive recall or notification system must work reliably given the

       community’s expected range of disasters. That is, it should work when activated as the

       command system dictates or when conditions warrant” (p. 377).

       Building on the availability of bolstering on-duty resources during times of need, it is

also necessary to properly pre-plan for line and staff position needs. This planning should be

based on pre-conceived command structures needed for response and management of major

emergency incidents and community disasters (Coleman, 1978, Sacra 2005).

       How to approach the issue of recalling personnel varies widely. By appearance, personnel

recall processes may seem to be a technical problem which calls for a procedural solution. While

this is partially true, fire service leaders should also consider an adaptive problem solving

approach and use new and different ways of thinking to determine successful solutions to

recalling their personnel back to the service of their communities (National Fire Academy,

2004a).
                                                                           Recall of Personnel         16

       Addressing this issue as a technical problem, some departments develop procedures

which call for differing levels of call back depending on the type, size and severity of the event

(Cave, 2002). Most departments rely on using telephones to contact off-duty personnel via

personal telephones or pagers (Cave, Stauber, 2004). And all departments are faced with the

complexities of how to reach off-duty personnel, where to have personnel report back to duty,

and how to support them in their activities (e.g. apparatus, personal protective equipment, etc.)

when they do report (Cave 2002, Stauber 2004).

       Addressing the specific question of how other fire departments deal with the issue of

recalling off-duty personnel, a number of individual department procedures were reviewed for

this paper. The city of Virginia Beach, Virginia maintains an EMS agency separate from the fire

department. Staffed with career and volunteer personnel, this agency provides a full array of

services to this resort city including EMS and lifeguard duties. The Emergency Medical Services

department maintains a procedure that stipulates who within the agency has the authority to

recall personnel and the process for doing so (Virginia Beach Department of Emergency Medical

Services, 2004). The Recall of Personnel procedure includes categories of anticipated and

unanticipated events as well as the classification of the full or partial recall of personnel (p.2).

The procedure further details how recalled personnel are to respond to the different levels of

recall and what their responsibilities are when called back to service. Included in the document

are instructions on the communications methodologies that will be used to notify off-duty

personnel. These include telephones, cellular phones and media announcements over commercial

radio and television stations in the area (p.4).

       The Charlotte, North Carolina Fire Department maintains General Order OGO200 which

outlines their recall procedures (Charlotte Fire Department, 2006). The order stipulates who may
                                                                         Recall of Personnel      17

authorize the recall of personnel and who is to perform the task of calling off-duty personnel.

This varies based on the time of the event and how many personnel are being recalled. The

procedure further directs that the Fire Chief, at his discretion, may use local media (e.g. radio and

television) as a secondary method of contact should telephoning off-duty personnel be

ineffective (p. III-a).

        The City of Toronto, Canada maintains a large and busy airport facility. The Greater

Toronto Airport Authority (GTAA), tasked with managing this facility, provides fire protection

services by way of the Toronto Pearson Airport Fire and Emergency Services Department. This

organization has an employee recall procedure that outlines the methodology for calling

personnel back to duty during significant events (GTAA Fire & Emergency Services, 2004). The

procedure further stipulates who has the authority for initiating a recall, designates who is

responsible for making the personnel contacts and dictates the responsibility for assigning

personnel to apparatus and tasks once they report.

        The Cobb County, Georgia Fire Department’s Contingency Planning for Disasters or

Large Emergencies – Shift Scheduling and Personnel Notification Options (Cobb County Fire

Department, 2006) provides for contingency staffing for large-scale incidents. The procedure

outlines four different staffing levels based on the scale of the emergency. Three of these

categories dictate a change in shift configuration and staffing with the third category calling for

the department to separate into two operational shifts. The procedure provides an additional

planning tool in providing cost factors that allow for estimating the approximate personnel costs

associated with a call back event. The document also notes the need for personnel to maintain

personal contact information and where to report when recalled to service.
                                                                        Recall of Personnel       18

       The Vancouver, Canada Fire and Rescue Services have two operational guidelines that

relate to the recall of off-duty firefighters. Calling Out – Off Duty Personnel (Vancouver Fire

and Rescue Services) outlines the various processes for contacting personnel and where they are

to report. Included in this document are the specifics of who is responsible for each level of

contact and at which point in an incident the call out process should begin. The second guideline,

Call Out Method (Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services) breaks the department personnel into

various groups based on the station the personnel are assigned to. The group assignment dictates

when off-duty personnel are subject to call back.

       The second descriptive research question, what, if any, laws, regulations or policies

influence the ability to call off-duty personnel back to duty, is answered by the review of a

number of documents internal and external to CFEMS. External to CFEMS, national standards

making bodies continue to influence apparatus staffing which must be taken into account when

designing and implementing personnel recall practices. The National Fire Protection Association

(NFPA) Standard for the Organization and Deployment of Fire Suppression Operations,

Emergency Medical Operations and Special Operations to the Public by Career Fire

Departments (viz., NFPA Standard 1710), recommends a minimum set of personnel for

operations at emergency incidents as well as specific response time windows to respond to calls

for service (NFPA, 2001). Corresponding research conducted for personnel recall procedures

indicates, however, that many departments are unable to meet these standards due social,

economic and political influences (Robertson, 1999).

       A second influence on the process of recalling personnel is found in the Insurance

Services Office (ISO) “Fire Suppression Ratings Schedule.” This ratings schedule is used to

measure the capabilities of fire departments and in some cases, influences the insurance rates of
                                                                         Recall of Personnel        19

homeowners and businesses. As noted in Personnel recall procedures for emergencies

(Robertson, 1999), a fire department’s ISO rating is clearly influenced by the ability to quickly

mobilize resources, including those of off-duty personnel (p. 16). For departments which strive

to maintain low (i.e. better) ISO ratings, supplementing on-duty staffing with additional

personnel resources can have an impact on the ISO ratings.

       In many instances fire service organizations must account for labor-management

contracts or collective bargaining agreements when designing and implementing personnel recall

processes. These contracts or agreements can influence how off-duty personnel are called back to

service and how they are compensated for the additional hours worked. As documented in

Management in the Fire Service (NFPA, 1977), labor laws do provide fire service leaders with

some management rights for directing personnel outside of specific contractual language,

particularly during times of emergency (p. 338).

       At the federal level, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) dictates how personnel must be

compensated for work performed. Specifically the act “provides for minimum standards for both

wages and overtime entitlement, and spells out administrative procedures by which covered

work time must be compensated.” (Office of Personnel Management, 2006). Fire service

managers designing and implementing personnel recall procedures may be guided or influenced

by the requirements set forth in this regulation.

       The third descriptive research question, how many personnel are likely to return to duty,

if called, is answered primarily through the process of soliciting feedback via an internal

employee questionnaire provided to CFEMS personnel. The outcomes of this questionnaire are

noted in the results section of this paper. However, there is supporting literature research that is

valid to the question posed.
                                                                          Recall of Personnel          20

         Concern about the overall commitment of today’s work force seems to be unfounded.

Researcher Janice Hedges finds that although the makeup of the hours that an employee works

today has changed from the past; the overall commitment to work has not (Hedges, 1983).

However when factoring in emergency personnel, research indicates that they may be adversely

affected by their inability to be with their families during times of significant crisis. In many

instances the catastrophic emergencies which affect one’s family are exactly those that

precipitate emergency personnel being called back to duty. Those events can generate profound

guilt and stress among firefighters and other emergency personnel. But although these situations

do cause anxiety among these personnel, most adapt by preparing themselves and their families

for the eventuality that they will be gone when their families need them most. (Oosthuizen,

2004).

         In Personnel recall procedures for emergencies (Robertson, 1999), Taylor Robertson

from the Eugene Fire and Emergency Medical Services notes “…it was not clear what number of

personnel or staffing strength would respond back to call back; and if they did respond, to what

location would they report” (p.7). Supporting this concern is the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina

in 2005. This storm required a massive response of fire service resources from across the nation

and even internationally. Due to the size and severity of the storm, fire service personnel in the

affected localities suffered devastating personal losses of property, and in some cases, lives. It is

estimated that approximately 80 percent of the firefighters in New Orleans were in some way

personally affected. This was surpassed by St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana where 100 percent of

the fire service personnel suffered significant losses to their personal property as a result of the

winds and flooding from the hurricane (Fire Engineering 2006; personal observation, September,

2005).
                                                                          Recall of Personnel       21

       Fully one year later, fire departments in the New Orleans area are coping with the loss

and retirements of personnel. The City of New Orleans Fire and Police Departments have

initiated pay incentives to recruit and retain new personnel to fill the ranks of those that left these

departments following Hurricane Katrina. Those losses are estimated by New Orleans Fire

Superintendent Charles Parent at approximately 100 personnel (New Orleans Times-Picayune,

July 26, 2006).

       However, Hurricane Katrina was not the first natural disaster to adversely affect

emergency personnel. Among other large-scale disasters that negatively impacted fire service

personnel and their families was the great Chicago fire in 1871, the hurricane that devastated

Galveston, Texas in 1900 and the San Francisco earthquake of 1906 (The White House, 2006).

And more recently, the affects of Hurricane Andrew in Florida in 1992 are well documented.

Among the phenomena that were observed in both Andrew and Katrina were emergency services

personnel failing to continue their professional duties and responsibilities due to personal losses

suffered by them and their families. Although these occurrences were anecdotally reported

through various media outlets, extensive research conducted for this effort failed to reveal any

scholarly literature to support or document these observations.

       As previously noted, today’s world brings with it a call for non-traditional response roles

for America’s fire service. In addition to natural disasters and terrorism, the fire service is

expected to play an important role during major health emergencies such as the anticipated bird

flu pandemic. As the Emergency Management and Response-Information Sharing and Analysis

Center (EMR-ISAC) notes,


       “In a scenario like the avian flu, numerous response personnel will be incapacitated and

       absent from their duties for an extended period of time. Depending on the actual incident
                                                                        Recall of Personnel      22

       (e.g., biological, radiological, flu) there are estimates that 20% to 40% of the workforce

       will be mentally and/or physically debilitated. Some studies indicate that fear will drive

       employees to isolation. Other studies argue that worker concerns about family, safety,

       and survivability will supersede those of work and dedication to duty.


       With respect to continuity and response-ability, the EMR-ISAC recommends that ESS

       leaders nationwide seize the occasion to review the readiness of their plans and programs

       in terms of personnel availability. Actions now to address probable personnel shortages

       should appreciably assist operational continuity and mission success during and after any

       man-made or natural disaster” (Emergency Management and Response-Information

       Sharing and Analysis Center, 2006)


       Supporting the theory that emergency personnel function better during major disasters

when they know that their families are safe, the Chesterfield County Emergency Operations Plan

(EOP) contains within an appendix which addresses the sheltering of families of emergency

services workers (Chesterfield County, 2004). Functional Appendix 12 calls for the opening of a

shelter at an area school specifically for the families of police, fire, EMS, sheriff and emergency

communications personnel (p. 12-1).

       Adding to this resource, CFEMS recently implemented a procedure which outlines

actions for the establishment of a fire department operations center, named Fire Department

Operations Center (FIREDOC), to coordinate command and control activities during large scale

incidents (Chesterfield Fire and Emergency Medical Services [CFEMS], 2006a). Among the

organizational changes that took place when this procedure was implemented is the

establishment of a Family Support Unit within the Logistics Branch of FIREDOC. The CFEMS
                                                                        Recall of Personnel         23

Tropical Storm Gaston workgroup, which interviewed other departments using such a process,

was told that emergency personnel functioned more effectively and were more likely to return to

duty during significant events if they were assured that their family members’ welfare was being

supported.. Using this information and experience from other fire departments, the workgroup

adopted the Family Support Unit concept and adapted it into the FIREDOC procedure (CFEMS,

2006a).

       The forth descriptive research question is which, if any, existing organizational processes,

procedures or practices would support or influence the implementation of a standardized

personnel recall process? This question is specifically supported by CFEMS operational

procedure Signal 15 & Recall of Career Personnel (CFEMS, 2000), [Appendix A]. This existing

procedure, modified in 2000 to include reference to the recall of career personnel, has been used

for many years within the organization as the primary methodology for the recall of CFEMS

personnel. The procedure addresses the recall of personnel through three processes of

notification; one for career personnel, one for fire volunteers and a third process which recalls

available EMS volunteers.

       Signal 15 Bravo, as it is known within the organization, details responsibilities through

which on-duty personnel will attempt to contact off-duty career personnel for a recall to service.

This is primarily done by telephone with station officers tasked with using emergency contact

information for each member that is maintained in the fire stations. The process also involves the

Chesterfield County Emergency Communications Center (ECC), which is a separate agency that

supports fire; police, sheriffs and EMS communications with 911 call processing and radio

dispatch. The volunteer recall processes are initiated by ECC dispatchers through a paging
                                                                        Recall of Personnel        24

system which the sets off the volunteer’s pagers and announces the need for volunteer personnel

to report to their stations to staff apparatus.

        Supporting and influencing the CFEMS recall procedure, Chesterfield County maintains

personnel policies and procedures that apply to all county employees, inclusive of career and

civilian members of CFEMS. Chesterfield County Human Resource Policy 6-12 (Chesterfield

County, 2005a), stipulates how employees are to report to work during adverse weather

conditions and other emergency events. One classification of employees is essential staff. These

personnel are required to report work regardless of weather conditions or other emergency

situations. Additionally, the policy notes that public safety employees providing critical services

are required to report to work or remain on duty during emergency situations and conditions

(p.1). For the purposes of applying this policy, CFEMS assigns virtually all career and civilian

employees the designation of essential staff.

        Further having an effect on the recall of emergency personnel, Chesterfield County

Personnel Policies (Chesterfield County, 2005b) states,

        “Employees who are absent from work for three consecutive days without giving proper

        notice to their supervisors may be considered to have voluntarily separated and may be

        dismissed for job abandonment” (section 3-9-1-e).

Due to the criticality of the positions filled by CFEMS career personnel, the organization treats

any unexcused absence, however long, as an offense subject to disciplinary action. CFEMS

Member Duties and Responsibilities (Chesterfield Fire & EMS, 2006c) stipulates that members

must not be absent from duty without the specific permission of their superior officer (p.3). This

order is enforced by the department and overrides the Chesterfield County personnel policy

provision.
                                                                     Recall of Personnel        25

       Associated with the recall of personnel, several different workgroups and individuals

within CFEMS have studied the phenomenon of response to large-scale disasters and

emergencies. In an Executive Fire Officer Program Applied Research Project (ARP),

Chesterfield Battalion Chief Robert P. Avsec documented a number of significant weather

events, which occurred over approximately three decades (1969 through 1999) in Chesterfield

County. Among these events were hurricanes, tropical storms, flooding, tornadoes and other

natural disasters (Avsec, 2000). Common among these events was the fact that CFEMS on-duty

personnel resources were compromised and the lack of available personnel was a factor in

incident responses.

       Building on Chief Avsec’s work, CFEMS Battalion Chief Mark D. Sacra studied

methodologies for staffing the department’s county command structure through his Executive

Fire Officer Program ARP entitled A Plan to Staff County Command (Sacra, 2005). This

document recommended methods for ensuring consistent and reasonable staffing levels for key

command and control functions during large-scale emergencies experienced by Chesterfield

County. As of the publishing of this paper, the procedural recommendations contained within

Chief Sacra’s paper had not yet been fully adopted by CFEMS.

       Following the response to Tropical Storm Gaston in 2004, CFEMS assembled a

workgroup of personnel to review the events of that day and make recommendations for

organizational improvements (CFEMS Operational Response to Tropical Storm, 2005). The

previously cited Tropical Gaston Workgroup report made a number of observations about the

remarkable operations during this event. Included within the report were a number of specific

recommendations for process improvements to be instituted within CFEMS.
                                                                          Recall of Personnel       26

       In 2004 CFEMS Deputy Fire Chief James Graham developed a draft document that

expanded on the organization’s existing recall procedure. With a working title of Planning for

Emergency Operations Crisis Mode Personnel Recall and Altered Work Schedule (Graham,

2004) [Appendix B], Deputy Chief Graham strengthened the existing CFEMS procedure to

include authority of who within the organization could initiate a recall, altered the normal work

schedule for the utilization of additional personnel on operating shifts, provided a variation on

the present practice of using station personnel to make the telephone contacts with off-duty

personnel and specified where personnel were to report for duty. With the work of the Tropical

Storm Gaston workgroup ongoing at the time and other department initiatives, no further action

has been taken on this draft procedure as of the writing of this paper.

       The ensuing organizational activity as a consequence of the activities of the Tropical

Storm Gaston workgroup has resulted in significant organizational change for CFEMS. Among

the primary outcomes were two new CFEMS procedures specific to response to large-scale

incidents. The Severe Storms / Major Incident Preparedness and Response (CFEMS, 2006b) and

Fire Department Operations Center (FIREDOC) procedures (CFEMS, 2006a) both make

reference to the recall of off-duty personnel. Specifically, the FIREDOC procedure cites the

ability of the incident commander to ensure sufficient staffing for the emergency by recalling

personnel, holding personnel on-duty beyond their designated shifts, adjusting operational

periods, altering shift schedules and cancelling scheduled personal leave.

       The Severe Storms / Major Incident Preparedness and Response procedure (CFEMS,

2006b) essentially compliments the FIREDOC procedure and contains much of the same

procedural language related to the recall of personnel. It also contains a section related to

personal preparedness, which addresses the need for department members to anticipate the
                                                                         Recall of Personnel       27

probability that they will be away from their families during significant events and natural

disasters and, as such, should prepare in advance for such eventualities. The procedure also

denotes major operational modes for the organization with the objectives and the tasks associated

with operating in each mode.

       As noted previously, Chesterfield County maintains an Emergency Operations Plan

(EOP) which designates the overall plan of action and department-specific responsibilities for the

County’s response to major emergencies (Chesterfield County, 2004). Within the plan are a

number of appendixes that address the operations and responsibilities of specific departments or

functional government responsibilities such as sheltering and roadway clearing. The law

enforcement appendix contains language under the heading of increased readiness, which notes

the need to “designate and notify select off-duty personnel as a reserve force (p. 3-2). There is no

such language related to notification of off-duty fire and EMS personnel in the fire department

appendix.

       A supporting process that relates to personnel staffing is the Telestaff program employed

by the CFEMS Staffing Office. Telestaff is a complex software program which allows public

safety agencies to automate common staffing tasks. Among the tasks that Telestaff performs is

the automated contact of personnel to offer work assignments for minimum staffing (i.e.

overtime) positions in CFEMS. The system is highly configurable and supports contacting

members through multiple methods such as telephone, cellular phone or digital pager. The

system is presently used for career staffing purposes and as such, little volunteer or civilian

personnel data is maintained in the system.

       Studying the ability to modify or improve on existing organizational recall processes, the

ability of Telestaff to automate portions of a personnel recall process is called into question.
                                                                         Recall of Personnel      28

Supporting the research conducted for this paper, the Telestaff project manager was interviewed

as to the abilities of Telestaff to influence an existing or modified personnel recall process. The

results of that interview are documented in the results section of this paper.

                                            Procedures

       The descriptive research procedures performed to complete this paper were primarily

focused on addressing the specific questions posed in the problem statement. In particular, the

goal was to identify literature and documents both within the fire service in general and internal

to Chesterfield Fire and EMS that related to the recall of off-duty personnel. Additionally, an

interview was conducted with a key organizational project manager to achieve an understanding

of how existing technology could be leveraged to assist in the process of recalling off-duty

personnel. Finally, a questionnaire was provided to organizational members soliciting feedback

to determine the probably of those personnel returning to duty under variable conditions.

       Literature review began with a request of fire departments for personnel recall

procedures. This request was conducted via an e-mail list server maintained by the Metro Fire

Planners group. Metro Fire Planners is an informal group of people from metropolitan sized (i.e.

400 members or more) fire departments from the United States and Canada that present and

discuss fire service issues by way of an e-mail list server maintained by Yahoo Groups®.

Whenever a member of the group wishes to ask a question, the question is sent via e-mail to the

other members and posted to the Yahoo Groups® website. If another member has something to

contribute to the question they then respond with all members being able to view the results. The

group meets in person once a year for a round table discussion of issues and to share information

about emerging trends and other fire service topics.
                                                                        Recall of Personnel        29

       The request for recall processes from the Metro Planners resulted in five responses.

Those departmental procedures were reviewed and are summarized in the literature review

question of what, if any, personnel recall processes are other fire service organizations using?

       Additionally, a search of relevant documents was performed from the National Fire

Academy’s Learning Resource Center (LRC) via the Internet search engine maintained by the

LRC. The document search was conducted in an effort to identify fire service related literature

that addressed the question of how fire departments manage personnel recalls. The search terms

used included personnel, recall, off-duty and return to duty. Although this search of the LRC’s

computerized catalog system revealed a few Executive Fire Officer Program applied research

papers, this author wished to ensure that all potential pertinent documents were identified using

this valuable resource.

       Subsequently, an e-mail was sent to the LRC staff asking for document search assistance

with emphasis on identifying applied research papers (ARP) and periodical articles related to the

recall of personnel. This request produced an e-mailed listing of ARPs and periodical articles

from the LRC staff from which the author selected those that were deemed pertinent to the

subject matter being researched. An inter-library loan request was made of the LRC and the

papers were retrieved through the Chesterfield County Public Library System.

       Various other relevant books and articles related to management of fire service operations

were referenced from the author’s personal library and that of CFEMS. CFEMS Deputy Chief of

Emergency Operations James Graham was made aware of this research effort and provided the

author with a copy of a draft of a revised recall procedure that had been developed several years

earlier but never implemented by the organization (Appendix B). Document research was also

conducted via an on-line search of the Google™ and Google™ Scholar Internet search engines.
                                                                      Recall of Personnel       30

This search resulted in several articles and documents which were identified, reviewed and

subsequently cited in the literature review conducted for this paper. The search words used were

personnel, recall, off-duty and return to duty.

       An interview was scheduled with CFEMS Battalion Chief David Parrott who served as

the principle project manager for the implementation of CFEMS’ automated staffing system,

Telestaff. The interview was arranged in advance by way of a verbal conversation and was

confirmed through an e-mail request to Chief Parrott. The background and context of the

research being conducted were verbally provided to Chief Parrott immediately prior to the

interview session being conducted. The interview was conducted on Friday, July 14, 2006 at the

Chesterfield County Public Safety Training Center. The objective of the interview was to gain

insight into the abilities of the existing CFEMS automated staffing technology. The information

gleaned from the interview supported the research question of which, if any, existing

organizational processes, procedures or practices would support or influence the implementation

of a standardized personnel recall process?

       An organizational questionnaire supporting this research was developed and made

available to the all CFEMS career, civilian and volunteer personnel via an Internet survey

service. The questionnaire was identified and participation requested by means of an entry in the

department’s Daily Business Plan (DBP), which is published via e-mail by the CFEMS

Emergency Operations Division. The CFEMS DBP is similar to an incident action plan in that it

provides department personnel with the plan of operation for the Emergency Operations Division

for a given day. The e-mail list that distributes the DBP contains 112 individual and group e-mail

accounts and is inclusive of the majority of the members of the organization. The DBP entry

requesting member participation in completing the questionnaire ran from July 5, 2006 through
                                                                         Recall of Personnel          31

July 14, 2006 and provided a uniform resource locator (URL) to access the questionnaire via the

Internet.

        Feedback from the CFEMS membership was solicited to corroborate the question of how

many personnel were likely to return to duty, if called. The questions were developed to

determine whether personnel would indeed return to duty and provided varying conditions and

possibilities under which the decision to return would have to be made. All CFEMS personnel

(i.e. career, volunteer and civilian members) were invited to participate as all are subject to

personnel recall due to the nature of services provided by the department. The questionnaire was

constructed using the Zoomerang™ web-based survey software. The author’s subscription to the

Zoomerang™ service allowed the author to monitor participation and periodically retrieve data

from the questionnaire results. At the closing of the questionnaire solicitation period on July 14,

2006 the software indicated that 131 personnel began the questionnaire with 103 members

completing it. Based on an estimated membership of 600 career and volunteer members, 131

personnel taking part in the questionnaire would constitute approximately 22 percent of the

CFEMS membership. With 103 personnel actually completing the questionnaire, an approximate

17 percent of the organizational membership is represented in the outcome of this effort. The

questionnaire outcomes are interpreted in the results section of this paper and the questions are

notated in Appendix C.

                                                 Limitations

        The limitations of this research are that it is assumed that the response to the request of

fire departments for recall procedures by way of the Metro Fire Planners group is voluntary and

arbitrary based on member participation. Further, the referenced questionnaire of CFEMS

personnel was voluntary and, as such, may not necessarily represent a true sampling of
                                                                         Recall of Personnel       32

organizational personnel. The results of the organizational questionnaire were not validated

through other research methods and the outcomes should be interpreted as such. Response to the

questionnaire was not controlled or limited in any way by the technology employed and it is

possible that a single member could respond to the questions more than one.

                                              Results

       The literature review conducted during the writing of this paper reveals that the recall of

off-duty personnel is a long standing issue for many emergency services organizations. In

today’s budget environment, fire departments cannot ensure that enough personnel are on duty to

support operations equivalent to the largest problem the department may ever face (Coleman,

1978). With a seemingly endless array of recent natural disasters and terrorism events, fire

departments must construct command and control systems which expand staffing needs outside

the traditional operational positions needed during these critical events (Coleman, 1978,

Quarantelli, 1984). And the need to augment critical staffing requirements is not restricted to the

emergency services sector. Other critical services such as law enforcement, hospitals,

transportation, utilities and other private sector employers often have the same requirements to

bolster their personnel staffing levels (Stauber, 2004).

       Fire service leaders should consider that the recall of off-duty personnel can quickly and

appreciably enhance available personnel resources (Auf der Heide, 1989). Literature review

reveals that when managing large incidents that significantly impact existing personnel

resources, the rapid and efficient recall of off-duty personnel can have an immediate, positive

impact on the overall incident outcome. Multiple literature references indicate that when

conducting pre-incident planning for large scale events, it is important that fire service

organizations establish personnel recall procedures to ensure adequate staffing during critical
                                                                         Recall of Personnel       33

operational periods (Cave, 2002, Gratz, 1972; Rand Foundation, 2003, Robertson, 1999, Sacra,

2005, Stauber 2004).

         Studies of personnel recall processes indicate that these activities should be conducted in

an effective and efficient manner. A Rand Foundation study conducted after the September 11,

2001 terrorist attacks (Rand Foundation, 2003) found that that the response of off-duty personnel

to significant events was often confused and unorganized. Arlington County Virginia’s fire

department did not have an established personnel recall procedure in place when an airplane

struck the Pentagon on September 11, 2001 (Arlington County, 2002). The after action report

noted that due to the gravity of the incident and resulting media coverage, the department

benefited from personnel self-dispatching themselves back to duty. This, however, led to

personnel accountability issues (p. A-39).

         On the same day, as two airliners struck the World Trade Center buildings in New York

City, the Fire Department of New York (FDNY) did have an existing personnel recall procedure

in place. However, documented and anecdotal evidence indicates that the FDNY experienced a

very similar scenario to Arlington’s as many FDNY personnel self-dispatched to the scene. The

aftermath of the 9-11 attacks has caused the FDNY leadership to review and revise their

personnel recall and accountability procedures (National Institute of Standards and Technology,

2004).

         Personnel recall processes are not limited to internal fire department procedures. Many

community emergency operations plans (EOP) note the need to have predetermined systems in

place to call back critical employees (Coleman & Granito, 1978). Often these references to

individual department’s (e.g. fire or law enforcement) personnel recall procedures are contained

within a functional annex or appendix to the city or county’s EOP.
                                                                         Recall of Personnel         34

       Literature review of existing and draft fire department recall procedures reveals a number

of procedural similarities. Most of the procedures studied dictated clear responsibility for who

within the organization had the ability to initiate a recall of off-duty personnel (Charlotte Fire

Department, 2006; Graham, 2004; Greater Toronto Airport Authority, 2004; Vancouver Fire and

Rescue Services; Virginia Beach Department of Emergency Medical Services. 2004). And most

also had some language reinforcing the need for their personnel to maintain up-to-date

emergency contact information (Charlotte Fire Department, 2006; Cobb County Fire

Department, 2006; Greater Toronto Airport Authority, 2004; Vancouver Fire and Rescue

Services; Virginia Beach Department of Emergency Medical Services. 2004).

       Another factor that virtually all reviewed procedures addressed were reporting locations

and expected duties of the returning personnel (Charlotte Fire Department, 2006; Cobb County

Fire Department, 2006; Graham, 2004; Greater Toronto Airport Authority, 2004; Vancouver Fire

and Rescue Services; Virginia Beach Department of Emergency Medical Services. 2004). The

location cited for reporting was usually the career employee or volunteer’s normal duty station.

But most common among the review of these procedures was that each specified some type of

accountability system when recalled employees returned to duty (Charlotte Fire Department,

2006; Chesterfield County Fire and Emergency Medical Services, 2005; Cobb County Fire

Department, 2006; Graham, 2004; Greater Toronto Airport Authority, 2004; Vancouver Fire and

Rescue Services; Virginia Beach Department of Emergency Medical Services. 2004).

       How personnel were contacted and by whom seemed to be the largest variable in the

different department procedures that were reviewed. Research indicates that many departments

depend primarily on contacting off-duty personnel via personal telephones or pagers (Cave 2002,

Stauber, 2004). As such, a recall process should require personnel to keep up to date emergency
                                                                         Recall of Personnel      35

contact information current within the system that the department maintains for managing such

information. The majority of the procedures reviewed for this paper contained such language

(Charlotte Fire Department, 2006; Cobb County Fire Department, 2006; Greater Toronto Airport

Authority, 2004; Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services; Virginia Beach Department of

Emergency Medical Services. 2004).

       However, what varied somewhat was how the organization made the recall notifications.

There were principally three variations in how departments documented contacting their off-duty

personnel. The majority of the procedures reviewed depended on on-duty personnel in the fire

stations to make the telephone calls initiating the recall (CFEMS, 2000; Vancouver Fire and

Rescue Services). One department specified that their emergency communications center would

carry this responsibility (Greater Toronto Airport Authority, 2004). And a number of agencies

designated administrative personnel with ensuring that off-duty personnel were contacted to

return to duty (Charlotte Fire Department, 2006; Graham, 2004; Virginia Beach Department of

Emergency Medical Services. 2004). One organization did not specify how the announcement

would be made (Cobb County Fire Department, 2006).

       Also common to a number of the reviewed procedures was references to use of the media

(e.g. local television and radio stations) for public broadcast of personnel recalls (Arlington

County, 2002; CFEMS, 2000; National Institute of Standards and Technology, 2004).

       There are also a number of outside influences that may affect the development and

administration personnel recall processes. Industry standards promulgated by regulatory agencies

can influence the staffing of apparatus which may, in turn, affect the recall of personnel. The

National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Standard 1710 calls for a minimum number of

personnel to be assembled at an incident before interior firefighting operations can commence
                                                                          Recall of Personnel       36

(NFPA, 2001). For departments choosing to comply with this voluntary standard, the number of

riding positions that need to be staffed on fire apparatus and medical units, and thus the number

of personnel needing to be recalled, is directly influenced by this standard.

       The Insurance Services Office (ISO) maintains a Fire Suppression Ratings Schedule

which calls for certain response criteria to be met by fire departments (Robertson, 1999). This

rating schedule affects the insurance rates of building owners living in a given fire district. Fire

departments striving to attain a lower (i.e. better) rating need to take into account how quickly

their organization can assemble resources. Departments developing or maintaining existing

personnel recall processes are affected by this rating schedule and associated response criteria as

they determine the most effective and efficient way to return their personnel back to duty during

significant events.

       Federal, state and local regulations regarding employee compensation and benefits can

have a direct influence on how and when an employee is asked to return to work unexpectedly.

At the federal level, certain regulations may not directly affect the recall of personnel but how

they are compensated for their response. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) dictates how

employees are compensated for hours worked (Office of Personnel Management, 2006). Fire

departments which recall off-duty career personnel are still subject to these regulations even

under extreme situations. The need to properly account for returning personnel is important not

only from the standpoint of personnel accountability but to track and document hours worked for

future compensation.

       Many fire departments and other emergency services organizations also operate within

labor-management contracts. These contracts may dictate to fire department managers how and

when they can require career department members to return to duty. For those fire service leaders
                                                                        Recall of Personnel        37

operating under such conditions, Management in the Fire Service (NFPA, 1977) notes that most

labor laws do provide some latitude for working outside of specific contractual agreements when

extreme needs exist.

       When conducting advanced planning for the recall of personnel it would be appropriate

to also ask, how many personnel can realistically be expected to return to duty when called.

Catastrophic events such as hurricanes and other large scale disasters also affect the lives and

families of emergency response personnel (Fire Engineering 2006, The White House, 2006).

Recent events, such as 2005’s Hurricane Katrina call into question how many first responders

will come back to work when their personal lives and families have been devastated by a natural

or manmade disaster. The New Orleans, Louisiana police and fire departments lost significant

numbers of personnel both during and after Hurricane Katrina when it struck that city (New

Orleans Times-Picayune, July 26, 2006).

       In addition to the aforementioned literature review conducted for this paper a

questionnaire was provided to CFEMS personnel. This questionnaire was designed to determine

CFEMS member knowledge of and adherence to existing organizational recall practices. As

noted in the procedure section of this document, this questionnaire was facilitated using Internet-

based survey software. The ability to respond to the questions was made available to all

organization members, career and volunteer.

       The results contained herein reflect similarities to what was noted during literature review

regarding the expectation that personnel will return to duty when recalled under difficult

circumstances. As the number of personnel responses was slightly more than 100, the numbers

and percentages noted closely mirror each other. Due to rounding of the responses by the
                                                                       Recall of Personnel      38

software utilized, not all percentages add to 100%. The outcomes of the questionnaire were as

follows (noted as number of responses and percentages):



1. Are you familiar with the CFEMS personnel recall procedure?

Yes                                                                                    64 (63%)

No                                                                                     20 (20%)

Not Sure                                                                               17 (17%)



        The vast majority of members answering this question indicated that they were aware of

the existing recall procedure. The question was formed in general terms with the exact

procedural reference not provided. Had a procedure number or title been provided one might

question whether the percentage of those acknowledging familiarity would have been as high. As

it stands, the results indicate that 64% of the personnel taking part acknowledge familiarity with

the procedure while 20% do not and 17% are not sure.



2. Do you maintain a communications device (pager, cell phone, etc.) that permits

you to be readily contacted if a personnel recall is conducted?

Always                                                                                 49 (49%)

Frequently                                                                             29 (29%)

Sometimes                                                                              13 (13%)

Seldom                                                                                 2 (2%)

Never                                                                                  8 (8%)
                                                                        Recall of Personnel         39

       This question was posed to determine whether members’ use of communications

technology would facilitate the type of contact needed to ensure a fast and efficient recall. The

existing procedure for career personnel calls for contacting the member via telephone numbers

maintained in their emergency contact information at their assigned duty station. If the member

is away from home and does not make use of cell phone or pager technology the probably of

reaching them for recall is low.



3. Is your contact information maintained in the Telestaff system up-to-date?

Yes                                                                                      85 (84%)

No                                                                                       5 (5%)

Not Sure                                                                                 9 (9%)

Not applicable                                                                           2 (2%)



       Projecting the possibility of leveraging existing technology to improve upon the present

organizational recall process, this question was posed to determine how accurate the member

contact information is that is maintained in the Telestaff automated staffing system. It should be

noted that the Telestaff system presently does not maintain volunteer or civilian personnel

contact information as there is no present use of this system to maintain staffing for these

segments of the organization. Fully 85% of the respondents indicate that their contact

information is accurate. This is not surprising given that this contact information determines

whether a career member has minimum staffing (i.e. overtime) opportunities provided to them.

       The next series of questions was written to present members with varying scenarios that

may influence their availability and or probability of returning to duty when contacted. Building
                                                                        Recall of Personnel        40

upon the premise that members may be conflicted about returning to work when they have

concerns about the well-being of their families and loved ones, the following responses provide

an interesting perspective into what an organization may expect when facing an incident with

catastrophic consequences that affect large areas of the community.



4. Following a major emergency or disaster, if your family was safe and protected,

are you likely to return to duty if contacted for a personnel recall?

Yes                                                                                     87 (86%)

Possibly                                                                                10 (10%)

Not Likely                                                                              1 (1%)

No                                                                                      3 (3%)



       Given the context that their family was safe and protected fully 96% of the CFEMS

personnel answering the questionnaire indicated that they would definitely (86%) or possibly

(10%) return to work if recalled. One percent indicated that they would not likely return and

three percent indicated, in spite of county and departmental policies to the contrary, that they

would not return to duty. It should be noted that a percentage of the respondents to these

questions were volunteer members and as such, are not subject to the same policies as career and

civilian members.
                                                                         Recall of Personnel     41


5. Following a major emergency or disaster, if your family’s safety or welfare was

in question, are you likely to return to duty if contacted for a personnel recall?

Yes                                                                                     12 (12%)

Possibly                                                                                18 (18%)

Not Likely                                                                              41 (40%)

No                                                                                      30 (30%)



       When the original question was altered to call into question the safety and welfare of the

member’s family, the percentages changed significantly. Only 30% of the personnel indicated

that they would definitely or probably return to duty while 70% indicated that they were not

likely to or would definitely not return to duty.



6. Following a major emergency or disaster, if your family’s safety or welfare was

in question but they had a place of safe refuge, are you likely to return to duty if

contacted for a personnel recall?

Yes                                                                                     41 (41%)

Possibly                                                                                45 (45%)

Not Likely                                                                              10 (10%)

No                                                                                      5 (5%)



       This question provided yet another possibility based on the original question. In this case,

when the respondents were offered the possibility that their families’ welfare was in question but

they had a place of safe refuge, the outcomes changed again. Given this scenario, 86% of the
                                                                        Recall of Personnel         42

members indicated that they would definitely or possibly return to duty. Only 15% indicated that

they were not likely to or definitely would not return to duty. This question was not as overt in

ensuring the member’s family safety as question four in which not doubt was introduced as to the

welfare of the families. Consequently, the responses to this question were slightly less committed

to returning to duty as were the response to question four.



7. Following a major emergency or disaster, if your family’s safety or welfare was

in question but Chesterfield County maintained a shelter specifically for public

safety personnel families, would your family make use of the shelter?

Yes                                                                                     41 (41%)

Possibly                                                                                45 (45%)

Not Likely                                                                              9 (9%)

No                                                                                      5 (5%)



       In the Chesterfield County EOP, one of the functional appendixes specifies that the

county maintains an emergency shelter specifically and exclusively for the families of

emergency services personnel. This question introduced the Chesterfield County emergency

workers family shelter as a specific place of refuge for the member’s family. Empirical evidence

suggests that the Chesterfield County shelter designated for emergency worker’s families has not

been heavily used during past events. Contrary to those experiences, results of this question

indicate that 86% of the personnel answering this question in a definite or possibly manner

would take advantage of this shelter for their families.
                                                                       Recall of Personnel       43


8. If your answer to Question #7 was yes or possibly, would you likely return to

duty if contacted for a personnel recall?

Yes                                                                                    67 (71%)

Possibly                                                                               23 (24%)

Not Likely                                                                             2 (2%)

No                                                                                     3 (3%)



       As a follow up to question seven, this query was designed to assess the possible return to

duty if the member elected to use the shelter for their family members. Using this variation, the

percentages did increase slightly from question six where the place of refuge was not specified.

With the Chesterfield shelter as the stated option for a place of refuge, 95% of the personnel

answering this question answered positively that they would definitely or possibly return to duty

if recalled. Only 5% of the members were not likely or definitely would not return to duty.



9. Membership status:

Executive staff member                                                                 3 (3%)

Career officer                                                                         44 (44%)

Volunteer officer                                                                      5 (5%)

Career firefighter                                                                     43 (43%)

Volunteer firefighter                                                                  1 (1%)

Rescue squad member                                                                    0 (0%)

Civilian member                                                                        5 (5%)
                                                                        Recall of Personnel         44

        The demographic questions were posed to gain insight into the organizational

participation in the questionnaire. The vast majority of the members participating were career

personnel. This organizational segment made up 90% of the respondents that participated. Of the

two primary volunteer segments of the department, volunteer firefighters and officers

represented just 6% of the results while there were no personnel who identified their affiliation

as being from a volunteer rescue squad. The remaining percentage of participants came from the

civilian employee ranks with 5 personnel participating in the questionnaire.



10. My tenure in the organization is:

0-5 years                                                                               25 (25%)

6-10 years                                                                              14 (14%)

11-15 years                                                                             9 (9%)

16-20 years                                                                             25 (25%)

21 years or more                                                                        28 (28%)



        The final question dealt with organizational tenure. This question was designed to

determine the experience levels of the personnel answering the questionnaire. These responses

would seem to represent a fair cross-section of the organization. Personnel answering the

questionnaire who indicated that they had 16 years of experience or greater with the department

made up 53% of the respondents. Personnel with 10 years or less of experience represented 39%

of the overall respondents. . The lower numbers, 11-15 years at 9% participation, mirrors overall

department tenure as CFEMS did not hire any career personnel during several years in the mid-

nineties.
                                                                           Recall of Personnel          45

       To investigate the question of which, if any, existing organizational processes, procedures

or practices would support or influence the implementation of a personnel recall process, an

interview was conducted with CFEMS Battalion Chief David Parrott. Chief Parrott was the

principle project manager for the CFEMS implementation of the Telestaff automated staffing

software system. This system permits CFEMS personnel to manage and schedule their personal

leave usage via computer software and telephone. Among the features of the system is the ability

of the software to identify staffing needs based on leave usage and automatically generate phone

calls to personnel with messages offering minimum staffing (i.e. overtime) possibilities. The

software identifies who to call based on identified certifications or capabilities (e.g. firefighter,

advanced life support provider, etc.) and then generates calls to fill the open positions.

       Chief Parrott established that Telestaff was placed into service in 2005 and that the

CFEMS Staffing Office was still involved in developing the system’s capabilities. When

questioned, Chief Parrott noted that the Telestaff system has the ability to preserve two contact

numbers for each individual maintained in the system’s database. These numbers can be normal

landline phones, cellular phones or digital pagers. When the system makes contact with an

individual a computerized message is played and the individual interacts with the system via

phone keys. The functionality is very similar to telephone banking and other automated services

offered by private sector businesses.

       When asked as to whether the system would permit personnel recall messages to be pre-

programmed, Chief Parrott indicated that it would. The system can be programmed for any type

of personnel call features that a department may need. He further noted that any number of

messages could be programmed into the system. A person with system administration

capabilities then activates the call-out with the appropriate message. Further, personnel could be
                                                                          Recall of Personnel        46

classified by various qualifications and, or, identified by shifts, teams or groups. Chief Parrott

offered that this could conceivably allow for the department to allocate personnel to any number

of team or group configurations to permit callback for specialized shift configurations if the need

arises.

          Following this possibility Chief Parrott was questioned as to how difficult it was to

initiate a callout process through Telestaff. He indicated that it would require some training but

that the process itself was fairly simple. Chief Parrott also added that the callout processes could

be activated remotely by telephone and did not require the individual doing so to be at a

computer workstation or travel to the CFEMS Staffing Office where the computer is located.

Further, the callout process can be monitored as to how many personnel have been contacted

and, if needed, call verification (e.g. how many personnel actually indicate that they are returning

to duty) could be configured.

          Chief Parrott cautioned that as of the time of the interview, software access licenses had

only been purchased for career personnel and a limited number of volunteer and civilians. He

indicated that some discussions had been occurring regarding the possibility of using Telestaff to

manage volunteer crew staffing but that the lack of software access licenses had been

problematic. The Telestaff project team and management personnel have had discussions about

the department budgeting for an additional 500 software licenses, which would facilitate the

system being available to all CFEMS personnel. As of the date of the interview the $37,500 was

cost prohibitive and no additional planning had taken place in this regard.

          To further address the question of existing internal influences on a personnel recall

process, literature review reveals a number of policies and procedures which affect the existing

CFEMS procedure. The existing organizational procedure, Signal 15 & Recall of Career
                                                                       Recall of Personnel        47

Personnel (CFEMS, 2000) addresses the call back of off-duty career personnel and the

notification of volunteer personnel during events requiring additional staffing resources. The

procedure was updated in 2000 to include the recall of career personnel and during this review

was found to be outdated in making reference to organizational positions and practices that no

longer exist.

       Due to large scale incidents which adversely affected Chesterfield County and included

several hurricanes, a tornado and a tropical depression which caused significant flash flooding, a

number of reviews were performed within Chesterfield Fire and Emergency Medical Services to

address issues that arose during these events. The first of these reviews was an Executive Fire

Officer Program Applied Research Project (ARP), written by Chesterfield Battalion Chief Robert

P. Avsec. In addition to documenting a number of major weather events to strike Chesterfield

County over three decades, this research found a commonality among these events in that on-

duty CFEMS personnel resources were compromised and a deficiency of available personnel

was a negative factor influencing incident responses (Avsec, 2000).

       In 2004, CFEMS Deputy Chief of Emergency Operations James Graham developed a

draft revised recall procedure titled Planning for Emergency Operations Crisis Mode Personnel

Recall and Altered Work Schedule (Graham, 2004) (Appendix B). This draft procedure

reinforced the existing department procedure to include authority of who could initiate a

personnel recall, provided an alternative for the present practice of station personnel making the

telephone contacts with off-duty personnel, specified in more detail where personnel were to

report for duty and delineated an altered work schedule for the utilization of additional personnel

on operating shifts.
                                                                         Recall of Personnel      48

       Following Chief Avsec and Graham’s efforts, another ARP entitled A Plan to Staff

County Command was written by CFEMS Battalion Chief Mark D. Sacra (Sacra, 2005). This

paper resulted in recommendations for staffing key command and control positions within

CFEMS during large-scale emergencies. These proposals were an attempt to ensure that staff

personnel had predetermined roles and responsibilities during major events when the department

has the need to quickly initiate command and control functions to address those incidents.

       Following the department’s response to a tropical storm which resulted in severe flash

flooding and a civilian death, CFEMS convened an internal workgroup in 2005 to review the

incident outcomes and make suggestions for organizational improvements (CFEMS Operational

Response to Tropical Storm Gaston, 2005). The Tropical Gaston Workgroup report included a

number of specific recommendations for process improvements to be instituted by the

department.

       The primary outcomes of this evaluation were two new CFEMS procedures specific to

response to large-scale incidents. The first, Severe Storms / Major Incident Preparedness and

Response (CFEMS, 2006b) makes reference to the recall of off-duty personnel, denotes personal

preparations that CFEMS members should make for themselves and their families and addresses

altered operational shifts and staffing schemes. The second procedure, Fire Department

Operations Center (FIREDOC) (CFEMS, 2006a) outlines the initiation of the fire department’s

operations center for large scale events. In its procedural language the document refers to the

responsibility of the incident commander to ensure sufficient staffing by recalling personnel, the

ability to hold personnel on-duty beyond their designated shifts and the adjustment of operational

periods, altering of shift schedules and the cancelling of leave to ensure adequate staffing levels.

Both procedures are inclusive of career, volunteer and civilian personnel within the organization.
                                                                        Recall of Personnel         49

       As employees of Chesterfield County, CFEMS career personnel are also affected by

several county personnel procedures. Chesterfield County Human Resource Policy 6-12

(Chesterfield County, 2005a), specifies which employees should report to work during adverse

weather conditions and other significant events. All public safety employees, which are inclusive

of virtually all CFEMS personnel, are specified as essential staff. Essential staff personnel are

required to report work regardless of conditions. Additional policy language also stipulates that

public safety employees providing critical services are required to remain on duty during

emergency situations and conditions (p.1).

                                             Discussion

       Many factors contribute to the complexities of managing in today’s fire service

environment. Principle among these factors, fire service leaders are responsible for ensuring that

their departments maintain sufficient resources to meet their assigned mission. Adequate

response staffing is a critical aspect in the management of these resources (Gleason, 2002) and

remains at the forefront of management issues that require considerable time and effort. Fire

service organizations should anticipate response to large scale events, recognize potentially

critical resource shortages and develop contingencies for obtaining those needed resources

(National Fire Academy, 2004b).

       The decrease in fire service volunteerism in some parts of the country coupled with

expanding fire service roles leads to new and different management challenges. Additionally, the

continued integration of emergency services organizations at large incidents may require fire

departments to staff command and control positions (e.g. unified command), that necessitate

additional personnel resources (Coleman, 1978, Quarantelli, 1984, Sacra, 2005). These factors
                                                                        Recall of Personnel       50

should be taken into consideration when assessing the capabilities and potential resource needs

of fire service organizations.

       In appearance personnel recall processes may seem to be a technical problem which calls

for a procedural solution. But fire service leaders should also consider an adaptive problem

solving approach and use new and different ways of thinking to determine successful solutions to

recalling their personnel back to the service of their communities (National Fire Academy,

2004a). This may require determining members’ personal or family support needs prior to an

event and working to make certain that those needs are met to ensure that personnel will return to

duty when requested. It may also require assessing how personnel manage their personal

communications in today’s high tech, mobile environment and adapting communications

strategies to quickly reach those people when needed.

       Recent history has shown that the lack of a formal personnel recall process does not

necessarily deny fire departments additional staffing during times of need. As noted in the

literature review of Arlington County, Virginia’s post action report on the attack on the

Pentagon, (Arlington County, 2002), the vast majority of off-duty Arlington Fire Department

personnel reported back to duty in spite of the lack of a standard process for recalling personnel

(p. A-39). While this may have succeeded in this instance due to informal notification as a result

of significant media coverage, this approach is certainly not a successful, long-term strategy for

recalling personnel back to duty. The Arlington report recommends that a phased alerting system

be considered and that Arlington County Fire Department review their personnel recall and

staging processes (p. A-43).

       A Rand Foundation study related to the protection of emergency services responders

conducted after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks (Rand Foundation, 2003) also validates
                                                                      Recall of Personnel        51

the findings of the Arlington study. The Rand study found that the response of off-duty career

and volunteer personnel to major disasters was often unorganized and chaotic. The lack of an

established personnel recall procedure and associated accountability system for returning career

and volunteer personnel can lead to confusion and responder safety issues during significant

events. As confirmed by the Arlington County and Rand Foundation studies, the recall of off-

duty personnel must be conducted in an organized and systematic way in order for it to be

effective.

       When recalling critical personnel, fire departments do not operate in a vacuum. Often,

personnel recall processes are not just limited to fire department procedures or guidelines. Many

communities’ emergency operations plans (EOP) make reference to prearranged processes that

the community maintains to call back critical employees (Coleman & Granito, 1978). Fire

departments with functional annexes or appendixes in their community’s EOP should ensure that

these procedural references compliment each other and work to address the entire emergency

response system within that specific jurisdiction.

       Even for those departments that maintain and utilize personnel recall processes, response

to significant incidents may identify the need for improvement. The Fire Department of New

York (FDNY) already had a comprehensive personnel recall procedure in place when planes

struck the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. But anecdotal evidence and follow-up

studies indicate that the majority of FDNY personnel self-dispatched based on media reports that

fateful day. This led to significant accountability problems which the FDNY has since addressed

through a revamping of their existing recall procedures (National Institute of Standards and

Technology, 2004).
                                                                      Recall of Personnel        52

       Most fire department procedures reviewed during the research conducted for this paper

were very similar in their approach to the management of personnel recall processes. Typically

the procedure communicated responsibility for who within the organization had the ability to

initiate a recall of off-duty personnel (Charlotte Fire Department, 2006; Graham, 2004; Greater

Toronto Airport Authority, 2004; Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services; Virginia Beach

Department of Emergency Medical Services. 2004). This is important as it clearly defines the

key personnel within a department’s command structure who have the responsibility to recognize

and take action to bring additional personnel resources back to work when conditions warrant.

       Research indicates that many departments depend primarily on contacting off-duty

personnel via personal telephones or pagers (Cave 2002, Stauber, 2004). As such, a recall

process should require personnel to keep up to date emergency contact information current

within the system that the department maintains for managing such information. The majority of

the procedures reviewed for this paper contained such language (Charlotte Fire Department,

2006; Cobb County Fire Department, 2006; Greater Toronto Airport Authority, 2004; Vancouver

Fire and Rescue Services; Virginia Beach Department of Emergency Medical Services. 2004).

       However, what varied somewhat was how the organization made the recall notifications.

These were primarily grouped into three variations with some departments depending on on-duty

personnel in fire stations to make the calls (CFEMS, 2000; Vancouver Fire and Rescue

Services), one specifying an emergency communications center (Greater Toronto Airport

Authority, 2004) and some designating administrative personnel with ensuring that the process

was conducted (Charlotte Fire Department, 2006; Graham, 2004; Virginia Beach Department of

Emergency Medical Services. 2004). One organization (Cobb County Fire Department, 2006)

did not stipulate how the notifications would be made. Several documents also made reference to
                                                                        Recall of Personnel        53

use of the media for public broadcast of personnel recalls but did not specify a process for this to

occur (Arlington County, 2002; CFEMS, 2000; National Institute of Standards and Technology,

2004).

         Included within a post incident report generated as a result of the CFEMS response to

Tropical Storm Gaston (CFEMS, 2005), were a number of specific recommendations for process

improvements to be instituted by the organization. Among the observations was that an informal

process of using digital pagers to notify and recall off-duty dive team members worked well.

This report observed that due to high call activity levels, there were no station personnel

available to place phone calls to members as is called for in the department’s recall procedure. A

related process improvement recommendation from the workgroup was to establish a similar

recall process using digital pagers for the other specialty teams (e.g. hazmat and technical rescue)

within CFEMS.

         When developing recall processes, fire service organizations should consider on-duty

personnel availability when designating notification related tasks. If a significant, unforeseen

event has taxed existing resources, one might question the availability of personnel remaining in

fire stations to make calls to off-duty members for recall notifications. Dependence on an

emergency communication center to perform these tasks may also be adversely affected for the

same reasons. For departments tasking administrative or clerical personnel with these

notifications, consideration should be given to how this process will be carried out during non-

business hours and the potential delay that might occur if the department has to wait on a person

or persons to be called in to initiate the notifications. As noted in the aforementioned Rand

Foundation study (Rand Foundation, 2003), “All means of communications should be used for

recall, including placing public service announcements with local media” (p. A-40). When
                                                                       Recall of Personnel        54

implementing personnel recall procedures, organizations should consider establishing multiple,

redundant notification processes that do not rely on any one means of communication or single

segment of the department to perform these tasks.

       Equally critical to the success of a recall process is the need to manage personnel when

they return to duty. Fire departments developing and maintaining recall procedures are faced

with the complexities of where to have personnel report back to duty, how to account for their

presence and how to support them in their activities when returning (Cave 2002, Stauber 2004).

Virtually all of the reviewed procedures addressed reporting locations and, most importantly,

how to record and account for returning personnel (Charlotte Fire Department, 2006; CFEMS,

2000; Cobb County Fire Department, 2006; Graham, 2004; Greater Toronto Airport Authority,

2004; Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services; Virginia Beach Department of Emergency Medical

Services. 2004).

       A common characteristic of several of the reviewed procedures (Cobb County Fire

Department, 2006; Graham, 2004; Greater Toronto Airport Authority, 2004; Vancouver Fire and

Rescue Services; Virginia Beach Department of Emergency Medical Services, 2004) and

something that CFEMS has recently instituted (CFEMS, 2006a), are predefined event levels.

This is supported by literature review which indicates that departments maintaining personnel

recall procedures generally include provisions for differing levels of recall dependant on the

type, size and severity of the event (Cave, 2002). A standard, predefined approach to identifying

operational levels permits departments to plan for and train on operational changes that will

occur when significant incidents take place. Among the possibilities of using this type of

preplanned methodology is the ability to clearly identify for personnel at which point recall

processes may take place and when upgraded staffing levels will begin.
                                                                       Recall of Personnel       55

       The recall of career fire department personnel is influenced and in some cases directly

affected by various federal, state, local regulations and labor union contracts. NFPA 1710;

Standard for the Organization and Deployment of Fire Suppression Operations, Emergency

Medical Operations and Special Operations to the Public by Career Fire Departments (National

Fire Protection Association, 2001), sets minimum standards for personnel staffing levels at

emergency incidents. While a voluntary standard, those departments that so choose to adopt and

adhere to NFPA 1710 would need to consider these pre-requisites when determining the number

and type of personnel needed for recall to duty.

       Common to many fire departments, existing labor-management contracts can influence

or, in some instances, dictate how and when department personnel can be recalled to duty.

Management in the Fire Service (NFPA, 1977) notes that, during times of emergency, most labor

laws do provide fire service leaders with some latitude in directing personnel outside of specific

bargaining agreements in place (p. 338). In some states, entry into labor-management agreements

is voluntary and does not affect the provision of personnel recalls. The Commonwealth of

Virginia is a right to work state and in compliance with provisions of the Taft-Hartley Act,

municipalities are not forced to recognize nor enter into contractual agreements with labor

unions. In the specific case of Chesterfield County and CFEMS, the local International

Association of Firefighters (IAFF) union does not maintain a collective bargaining agreement

with Chesterfield County.

       Also affecting personnel recalls, the federal government’s Fair Labor Standards Act

(Office of Personnel Management 2006) determines compensation rules for hours worked in a

standard workweek. Fire departments who may recall off-duty career personnel should plan for

and consider the need to properly document additional hours worked during these instances to
                                                                         Recall of Personnel        56

ensure that employees are properly compensated for their time. Since personnel accountability is

identified as a critical factor when managing personnel recalls, departments may wish to consider

integrating accountability documentation and time keeping records together to make this process

more efficient.

       Having a defined personnel recall process is essential to the proper management of fire

department resources but one question that arises is, if recalled during times of significant crisis,

will personnel return to duty? History records a number of catastrophic events, which devastated

not only whole cities and counties, but also the lives and property of fire service personnel and

their loved ones (Fire Engineering, 2006; The White House, 2006). The recent events of 2005,

when Hurricane Katrina overwhelmed the City of New Orleans, certainly calls into question how

fire department staffing levels may be affected by the aftermath of a ruinous disaster. The New

Orleans police and fire departments lost a number of personnel to the affects of the storm both

during and after the event (New Orleans Times-Picayune, July 26, 2006).

       These losses (i.e. employee resignations and those absent without leave) would seem to

validate that fire departments should expect to permanently lose some personnel when

catastrophic events strike their communities and directly affect the welfare of the families of

these personnel. And for those departments employing volunteer personnel, the very fact that

these personnel can report to duty voluntarily would seem to cause concern about their

commitment to their communities if their personal lives and that of their loved ones are

adversely affected and in disarray.

       Based on this observation the results of a questionnaire provided to the members of

Chesterfield Fire and Emergency Medical Services may shed some light on the probability of

member commitment to a personnel recall. When a series of questions were posed to CFEMS
                                                                         Recall of Personnel       57

membership regarding their tendency to return to duty if recalled, the answers varied widely

dependant on the scenario provided. To first establish an awareness of the existing department

procedure, CFEMS personnel were asked whether they were familiar with the procedure.

Slightly less than two-thirds of the personnel acknowledged familiarity with the existing

department recall procedure.

       Related to their availability to be contacted for recalls, the members were questioned as

to whether they maintained up-to-date contact information in the department’s Telestaff

automated staffing system. With 84% of the respondents indicating that their contact information

is up-to-date, these responses indicate that the Telestaff system may be a viable alternative to

contacting career personnel for recalls. Due to the fact that maintaining accurate contact

information in Telestaff influences a person’s eligibility for overtime, this system may have a

higher accuracy rate for personal contact information than the present system of personal data

cards maintained in the CFEMS stations.

       Continuing with the ability to contact personnel who are off-duty, members were asked

whether they maintained a portable communications device such as a cell phone or digital pager.

With 78% of the members taking the survey indicating that they always or frequently carry such

devices, it can be extrapolated that the probability is high that they could be reached for a

personnel recall even if away from their homes. The question arises as to whether departments

intending to contact off-duty personnel have adapted to new communications technologies and

personal communications practices and accounted for those in their recall procedure.

       In determining the probability of off-duty personnel returning to duty if called, when the

safety of the respondent’s families was assured, a high number of department members

answering the survey indicated that they would indeed return to duty. When the safety of their
                                                                        Recall of Personnel      58

families was called into question, the percentage of personnel clearly indicating that they would

return to duty dropped significantly. The questionnaire posed an additional scenario whereby the

county would provide an emergency shelter facility, thus ensuring the safety of the member’s

family. Personnel answering this question indicated widespread support of using the shelter for

their families and consequently indicated that if their family members were using the shelter,

they would likely return to duty if needed.

       The questionnaire results validate that the number of personnel answering a recall request

may be highly dependant on whether their families are safe from potential harm. This variation

should be a consideration for departments that maintain personnel recall procedures. These

questionnaire results speak to the need for organizational leaders to make certain that personnel

pre-plan for family needs during significant events and ensure that unmet personal needs do not

interfere with a member’s ability to return to duty when requested.

       In reviewing existing internal processes, procedures or practices that would support or

influence the implementation of a recall process, literature review reveals several documents

which shape the findings in this paper. Chesterfield County personnel policy (Chesterfield

County, 2005a) designates career employees of CFEMS as essential personnel. This designation

mandates that they are to return to duty when needed. One could theorize whether a recall to duty

constitutes an order to return to duty if it is not given the member by their immediate supervisor.

But regardless, as essential personnel, CFEMS career members are expected to report back to

duty when called upon to do so. And, supporting the previously identified need to assist

personnel’s families during significant events, the Chesterfield County Emergency Operations

Plan (Chesterfield County, 2004) contains an appendix which calls for the support of emergency
                                                                         Recall of Personnel       59

service personnel’s family members through the running of an emergency shelter maintained by

the county.

       Additional research of organizational documents reveals that CFEMS does currently

maintain a personnel recall procedure. The procedure, Signal "15" & Recall of Career Personnel

(CFEMS, 2000) outlines procedures for the recall of career and volunteer fire and EMS

personnel. It does not, however, contain some of the common criteria identified through the

literature review conducted in support of this research. Among the common items identified in

the review of other department procedures but not contained within the CFEMS procedure is the

stipulation that personnel should ensure that their contact data was accurate and up to date and

the designation of event levels. Further, the existing CFEMS procedure uses department

terminology that is out of date and refers to operational positions that no longer exist in the

organization due to changes that have occurred since the last procedure revision in 2000.

       The current procedure does allow for multiple methods of contacting personnel, the

possibility of using the media for recall announcements and provides for an accounting of

personnel who report back to duty. The procedure relies on an officer assigned staffing

management duties as the primary point of contact for station officers to report the number of

off-duty personnel reporting back to duty. This is the primary personnel accountability

methodology used by the organization. The staffing officer position is only manned during

normal business hours. During non-business hours the CFEMS Tactical Safety Officer (TSO)

maintains staffing levels within the Emergency Operations Division. The TSO’s primary

responsibility is incident scene safety and in the event of a significant event occurring in the

county, is highly unlikely to be available to manage staffing levels and accountability following

a recall of off-duty personnel.
                                                                         Recall of Personnel       60

       The CFEMS procedure specifies use of an existing radio paging system for the recall of

volunteer personnel. This system has functioned well in the past with the only drawback being

that the communication of the recall is open ended and there is no immediately feedback from

volunteer personnel as to how many are able to respond as requested. Although some career

personnel carry digital pagers issued by the department, the use of these devices is not

widespread and would not suffice as a primary method recall notifications.

       The existing procedure specifies that recall notifications of career personnel be made by

various communications methodologies (e.g. telephone, cell phone, etc.) by fire station officers.

If the station officers are not available due to response activity the backup, per procedure, is the

aforementioned staffing officer. As previously noted, a significant incident that results in

multiple system resources being engaged would likely result in a number of officers being

unavailable to make the necessary recall notifications. Further, for those officers remaining in the

stations, new procedures that CFEMS has initiated (CFEMS, 2006a) calls for these personnel to

perform a number of planning and preparation activities. Allocating personnel resources to

placing phone calls to off-duty personnel adds to this workload.

       One potential alternative that CFEMS already employs is an automated staffing system

known as Telestaff. This system is used by the organization to manage daily staffing processes

and has an automated telephone calling function that can reach personnel with preset messages.

CFEMS Battalion Chief Steve Parrott, who served as the Telestaff project manager, was

interviewed to determine whether the features of the system could potentially be used for

personnel recalls. Chief Parrott’s interview indicated that the Telestaff system could make

multiple phone calls to personnel using one or both of two contact numbers for each member.

These contact numbers could be a standard landline phone, cellular phone or digital pager. This
                                                                          Recall of Personnel        61

interview further revealed that personnel recall messages could be pre-programmed into the

system and activated, when needed, with minimal training and staff intervention.

       The Telestaff system fills staffing positions based on personnel qualifications. It also has

the ability to identify personnel by virtue of shifts, companies or any number of team

configurations that may be needed for personnel resource management during large scale

incidents. An additional feature, not currently used by the organization, is the ability of the

system to interact with the users, which would allow for immediately confirmation of the number

of personnel acknowledging their recall contact and intending to return to duty.

       With departments struggling to determine who should be tasked with making the contacts

necessary to recall personnel, a properly configured automated telephone calling system may be

of great benefit during events requiring the rapid recall of off-duty personnel. The ability to

remotely initiate an outgoing, rapid contact of off-duty personnel with limited on-duty personnel

involvement would seem to answer many of the inefficiencies and potential problems associated

with depending on department personnel making these important contacts.

       As shown during the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States and during

multiple large scale disasters since then, the American fire service is at the forefront of local,

regional and even federal level response missions that arise from these events. And experts

predict that this type of activity will occur more frequently in the future. This reality will

continue to require a pre-planned and coordinated response on the part of our nation’s first

responders (Coleman & Granito, 1988). Key to any successful response to a large scale

emergency is the ability for fire service organizations to adequately staff their positions to rise to

the challenges that face them. Failure to plan ahead to ensure adequate staffing can have negative

impacts on emergency operations (Fire Engineering, 2006).
                                                                        Recall of Personnel       62

       In spite of significant strides made in supporting emergency services organizations since

September 11, 2001, no organization can expect to maintain adequate staffing to respond to

every possible emergency that arises (Coleman, 1978). Recognizing this fact, the failure to plan

and prepare for the recall of personnel to significant incidents can have negative and serious

outcomes (Fire Engineering, 2006, Rand Foundation, 2003). When managing large scale

incidents that significantly impact personnel resources, incident managers should consider that a

recall of off-duty personnel can potentially double or triple those resources (Auf der Heide,

1989). But research also indicates that this must be conducted in an organized and systematic

manner. Therefore it is critical that fire service organizations maintain established personnel

recall procedures to ensure adequate staffing during critical operational periods (Cave, 2002,

Gratz, 1972; Rand Foundation, 2003, Robertson, 1999, Sacra, 2005, Stauber 2004).

                                        Recommendations

       Literature review, an interview of a key CFEMS project manager and an internal member

questionnaire all validate the importance of emergency services organizations maintaining

adequate and up-to-date personnel recall processes. The changing nature of the fire service (e.g.

homeland security roles) coupled with increased response demands during catastrophic events

show the need for fire service leaders to plan for, develop and exercise personnel recall processes

on a regular basis.

       Chesterfield Fire and Emergency Medical Services (CFEMS) have the advantage of

maintaining an existing personnel recall process. However research conducted for this paper

indicates that this document is out of date in making reference to operational positions and

practices that no longer exist within the organization. It is recommended that the existing Signal

"15" & Recall of Career Personnel procedure (CFEMS, 2000) be rewritten and updated to
                                                                         Recall of Personnel          63

reflect current operational practices. Further, it is recommended that when this procedure is

reviewed the updated language and process of conducting a personnel recall should also reflect

the recent adoption of the Fire Department Operations Center (FIREDOC) (CFEMS, 2006a) and

Severe Storms / Major Incident Preparedness and Response (CFEMS, 2006b) procedures.

       The new FIREDOC (CFEMS, 2006a) and Severe Storms / Major Incident Preparedness

and Response (CFEMS, 2006b) procedures both make multiple references to the recall and

management of off-duty personnel resources. At the time of the literature review conducted for

this paper neither of these two new procedures is cross-referenced to the existing CFEMS

personnel recall procedure, but both certainly should be. It is important that these three critical

procedures integrate with each other to ensure the seamless initiation of personnel recalls when

the need occurs.

       More specifically, both of the new procedures make reference to operational process

changes such as incident planning cycles, altered work schedules, double shift staffing, pre-

designated operational teams, multiple operational levels, advanced notification to personnel of

potential recalls and personal and family preparation tasks. Where applicable, the existing

CFEMS personnel recall process should be expanded to include reference to and integrate the

personnel recall practices reflected in these new procedures and associated processes.

       The existing CFEMS recall procedure makes note of using the media for public

announcements of personnel recalls. It does not, however, go into any further detail as to how

this is to be performed or who should initiate this method of contact to off-duty members. It is

recommended that when the Signal "15" & Recall of Career Personnel procedure (CFEMS,

2000) procedure is revised, the language expand on media contact options. This should include

up-to-date media outlet telephone numbers and making use of the Chesterfield County Public
                                                                          Recall of Personnel     64

Information Office for assistance in communicating this information over the television and

radio outlets in the Richmond, Virginia metropolitan area.

       As noted within this paper one of the struggles that fire departments seem to have is who

to task with making the contacts to initiate personnel recalls. If the event is significant,

depending on on-duty personnel to place calls to off-duty personnel when those on-duty

personnel may indeed be involved in the incident precipitating the recall, does not seem to be an

efficient or effective methodology. Alternatively, tasking administrative personnel with recalling

personnel is efficient during typical business hours when those people are at work. Stipulating

that administrative personnel be the primary contact for off-duty recalls becomes problematic if

the department has to wait for off-duty administrative personnel to return to work to begin the

recall process. Exacerbating this process is the need for department personnel to maintain up-to-

date personal contact information and the need for them to be at that contact number when the

recall contact is attempted.

       CFEMS employs an automated computer software staffing management program named

Telestaff which is used to contact career personnel to offer overtime possibilities. This system, as

validated by the member’s response to the questionnaire conducted in support of this paper, can

be depended upon to have up-to-date contact information as the lack thereof can negatively

affect a member’s ability to be granted overtime staffing. An interview with the Telestaff project

manager revealed that this system could also be utilized to automate the recall of off-duty

personnel just as it is used for overtime offerings.

       It is recommended that CFEMS develop the Telestaff system to automate the recall of

off-duty personnel. Information gained from the project manager interview indicates that the

software system can be configured to allocate personnel to variable teams and shifts as called for
                                                                        Recall of Personnel         65

in the two new procedures noted above. Further, the Telestaff project manager affirmed that the

initiation of a personnel recall using the Telestaff program was relatively easy and could be done

with a minimal amount of training for those tasked with performing this function.

       As of this time the Telestaff system is not used to manage volunteer staffing. Although

discussions have been held regarding the feasibility of this use, the cost of additional software

licenses has been deemed prohibitive. If Telestaff is developed as a personnel recall process tool

it is recommended that the CFEMS leadership consider the cost / benefit of purchasing the

additional software licenses to allow volunteer personnel recalls to be managed using this

software program.

       As documented through literature review conducted for this paper and validated through

the internal questionnaire answers provided by CFEMS members, off-duty personnel

acknowledge that they are unlikely to return to work if recalled when the safety and welfare of

their loved ones was in question. As part of its emergency operations plan, Chesterfield County

proactively maintains a dedicated emergency shelter exclusively for emergency services family

members. And recently, through the development of the Severe Storms / Major Incident

Preparedness and Response procedure (CFEMS, 2006b), a family support unit process was

written into the procedure to assist CFEMS personnel and their loved ones during separation

caused by major events.

       It is only recently, through department in-service training provided in support of the

introduction of the FIREDOC (CFEMS, 2006a) and Severe Storms / Major Incident

Preparedness and Response (CFEMS, 2006b) procedures, that the need for members to preplan

and prepare for their absence was reinforced. It is recommended that the need for members to

preplan and prepare their families for an anticipated absence during catastrophic events be
                                                                      Recall of Personnel        66

repeatedly emphasized to CFEMS members through ongoing education, training and simulated

events. Additionally, the family support unit process should be thoroughly exercised to ensure

that the intent of the process is met and that CFEMS members and their families gain the benefits

that this process brings to them.
                                                                     Recall of Personnel       67

                                          References

After Action Report on the Response to the September 11 Terrorist Attack on the Pentagon.

       (2002). Arlington County, Virginia.

Annual Report to Citizens. (2006). Chesterfield County, Virginia: Chesterfield County

       Government.

Auf der Heide, E. (1989). Disaster Response: Principles of Preparation and Coordination. St.

       Louis, Missouri: C.V. Mosby Company.

Avsec, R. (2000). Chesterfield fire department response to severe storm emergencies.

        (Applied Research Project, Executive Fire Officer Program). Emmitsburg, Maryland:

       National Fire Academy.

Cave, A. (2002). Personnel Recall Procedures. (Applied Research Project, Executive Fire

       Officer Program). Emmitsburg, Maryland: National Fire Academy.

Chesterfield County Human Resource Policy 6-12. (2005a). Chesterfield County, Virginia:

       Chesterfield County Government.

Chesterfield County Personnel Policies. (2005b). Chesterfield County, Virginia: Chesterfield

       County Government.

Chesterfield Fire and EMS Operational Response to Tropical Storm Gaston. (2005).

       Chesterfield, Virginia: Chesterfield County Fire and Emergency Medical Services.

Coleman, R. (1978). Management of Fire Service Operations. Belmont, California: Breton

       Publishers.

Coleman, R., & Granito, J. (Eds.). (1988). Managing Fire Services (2nd ed.). Washington, D.C.:

       International City Management Association.
                                                                        Recall of Personnel   68


Contingency Planning for Disasters or Large Emergencies – Shift Scheduling and Personnel

       Notification Options. (2006). Cobb County, Georgia: Cobb County Fire Department.

Emergency Management and Response-Information Sharing and Analysis Center. (2006).

       Personnel Availability. Retrieved: July 21, 2006 from the website:

       https://disasterhelp.gov/portal/jhtml/dc/sfi.jhtml?doid=32906.

Emergency Operations Plan. (2004). Chesterfield County, Virginia: Chesterfield County

       Government.

Emergency Recall. (2004). Toronto, Canada: Greater Toronto Airport Authority.

Executive Analysis of Fire Service Operations in Emergency Management Student Manual.

       (2004b). Emmitsburg, MD: National Fire Academy.

Executive Development Student Manual. (2004a). Emmitsburg, MD: National Fire Academy.

Fire Department Operations Center (FIREDOC). (2006a). Chesterfield, Virginia: Chesterfield

       County Fire and Emergency Medical Services.

General Order OGO200. (2006). Charlotte, North Carolina: Charlotte Fire Department.

Gleason, S. The Impact of Inadequate Staffing on Initial Attack at Pittsfield Township Fire

       Department. (Applied Research Project, Executive Fire Officer Program). Emmitsburg,

       Maryland: National Fire Academy.

Graham, J. (2004). Planning for Emergency Operations Crisis Mode Personnel Recall and

       Altered Work Schedule. Chesterfield, Virginia.

Gratz, D. (1972). Fire Department Management: Scope and Method. Beverly Hills, California:

       Glencoe Press.

Hedges, J. (1983). Is Job Commitment Waxing or Waning? Monthly Labor Review. Washington,

       D.C.: Bureau of Labor Statistics.
                                                                     Recall of Personnel        69

Hurricane Katrina: Overview. (May 2006). Fire Engineering Magazine, 159, 13-31.

Management in the Fire Service. (1977). Quincy, Massachusetts: National Fire Protection

       Association.

Member Duties and Responsibilities. (2006c). Chesterfield, Virginia: Chesterfield County Fire

       and Emergency Medical Services.

New Orleans fire union, EMS chief question mayor's plan. (2006, July 26). New Orleans Times-

       Picayune, p.1.

Office of Personnel Management. (2006). An Overview of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

       Retrieved July 19, 2006 from the website: http://www.opm.gov/flsa/overview.asp.

       Washington, DC.

O.G. #2.05.01.005 - Calling Out – Off Duty Personnel. Vancouver, Canada: Vancouver Fire and

       Rescue Services.

O.G. #2.05.01.008 - Call Out Method. Vancouver, Canada: Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services.

Oosthuizen, R. (2004). Job and Family Stress Amongst Firefighters. (Doctoral thesis, University

       of South Africa, 2004).

Quarantelli, E. (1984). Organizational Behavior in Disasters and Implications for Disaster

       Planning. Emmitsburg, Maryland: National Emergency Training Center.

Recall of Career Personnel. (2004). Virginia Beach, Virginia: Virginia Beach Department of

       Emergency Medical Services.

Robertson, T. (1999). Personnel recall procedures for emergencies: Eugene Fire and Emergency

       Medical. (Applied Research Project, Executive Fire Officer Program). Emmitsburg,

       Maryland: National Fire Academy.

Rubin, D. (1994, April). On the Job, Virginia. Firehouse Magazine, 68-74.
                                                                      Recall of Personnel       70

Sacra, M. (2005). A Plan to Staff County Command (Applied Research Project, Executive Fire

       Officer Program). Emmitsburg, Maryland: National Fire Academy.

Stauber, J. (2004). Emergency Notification Systems for Off-Duty Fire Department Personnel.

       (Applied Research Project, Executive Fire Officer Program). Emmitsburg, Maryland:

       National Fire Academy.

Severe Storms / Major Incident Preparedness and Response. (2006b). Chesterfield, Virginia:

       Chesterfield County Fire and Emergency Medical Services.

Signal "15" & Recall of Career Personnel. (2000). Chesterfield, Virginia: Chesterfield County

       Fire and Emergency Medical Services.

Standard for the Organization and Deployment of Fire Suppression Operations, Emergency

       Medical Operations and Special Operations to the Public by Career Fire Departments.

       (2001). Quincy, Massachusetts: National Fire Protection Association.

The Federal Response to Hurricane Katrina Lessons Learned. (2006). Washington, D.C.: The

       White House.

U.S. Department of Homeland Security Strategic Plan. (2004). Washington, D.C.: United States

       Department of Homeland Security.

Written Statement of the FDNY Before the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

       (2004). Washington, D.C.: National Institute of Standards and Technology. Retrieved

       July 19, 2006 from the website: www.nist.gov/public_affairs/

       ncst/11_22_2004/HaydenStatement_112204.pdf
                                                                         Recall of Personnel   71

                                            Appendix A

                     CHESTERFIELD FIRE AND EMS PROCEDURES

Division: Emergency Operations                           Procedure: #08-Emergency Operations

Subject: Signal "15" & Recall of Career                  Supersedes: Operational Policy #15

Personnel

Authorized by: A/Deputy Chief James E. Graham Date Issued: 08-25-2000

I. GENERAL

Due to extremely high call activity, it may become necessary to increase the fire and/or EMS

response capabilities with existing personnel and equipment. The Senior Battalion Chief has the

discretion to implement Signal "15" in order to handle emergency calls more effectively.

II. PROCEDURES FOR CAREER PERSONNEL RECALL

   A. These procedures will be implemented by The Senior Battalion Chief or above when they

       deem it necessary to recall all or part of the off duty shifts. They shall notify the

       Emergency Communications Center to implement a career personnel recall. If they want

       only a partial recall, they will inform the Emergency Communications Center which

       stations and/or units they want covered. They will advise the Emergency

       Communications Center of:

            1. The necessary staff officers to notify.

            2. Announce to the appropriate stations that a career personnel recall has been

               implemented.

            3. Page the Chief and Deputy Chiefs of the department, as well as any staff officers

               requested, that this has been implemented.

            4. Notify the AO/Staffing Officer of any stations that are busy.
                                                                   Recall of Personnel       72

       NOTE: Media assistance should be considered based on the severity of the incident.

B. The Company Officers will:

       1. Be responsible to see that an attempt to reach all off duty personnel from their

          station is made with any means at their disposal, i.e., recall card information,

          telephone, cell phone, pager, etc. Upon contact, personnel will report to their duty

          station for assignment.

       2. Upon completion of their notifications, the Company Officer will inform the

          AO/Staffing Officer that their contacts have been made and the number of

          employees responding.

       3. Inform the AO/Staffing Officer of units staffed and extra manpower in station as

          they become available.

       4. Record who responds, times and unit assigned to. They will send this information

          to the AO/Staffing Officer when the incident is terminated.

C. The AO/Staffing Officer will:

       1. Upon notification by the Emergency Communication Center that a career

          personnel recall was implemented and stations that are busy, see that the off duty

          personal of those stations are notified of the recall.

       2. They will see that resource/status reports are kept, by a responding employee, at

          the stations which are vacant.

       3. Initiate such reports as deemed necessary for the incident.

       4. Keep the Senior BC and Emergency Communications Center informed of

          personnel and equipment available for deployment.
                                                                      Recall of Personnel     73

         5. Collect all information concerning the incident and complete posts incident

            reports as directed.

III. SIGNAL "15" BRAVO

  A. When a Senior Battalion Chief or higher determines SIGNAL "15" BRAVO should be

     implemented, they will notify the Emergency Communications Center to implement

     SIGNAL "15" BRAVO.

  B. The Emergency Communications Center will activate the appropriate company tones to

     notify them that SIGNAL "15" BRAVO has been implemented and the particular

     response that is required.

  C. The notified companies will:

         1. Separate pumpers, brush trucks, squads, salvage, and aerial equipment to operate

            as separate units.

         2. Ensure that the units are staffed by one officer and sufficient personnel to operate

            effectively.

         3. Be prepared to respond as individual units if required.

         4. Notify Emergency Communications by radio when units are staffed.

         5. Notify Senior Battalion Chief or his designee by e- mail of staffing levels in

            station (to be used to increase staffing in stations with low or no response).

IV. SIGNAL "15" CHARLIE

  A. SIGNAL "15" CHARLIE will be implemented to increase the E.M.S. response

     capabilities with existing personnel and equipment within or outside the county.
                                                                  Recall of Personnel   74

B. When the Senior Battalion Chief determines that SIGNAL "15" CHARLIE should be

   implemented, Emergency Communications will be notified to implement SIGNAL "15"

   CHARLIE.

C. Emergency Communications will activate the appropriate rescue squad tones to notify the

   companies that SIGNAL "15" CHARLIE has been implemented, and the particular

   response that is required.

D. The rescue squads notified will:

       1. Give priority to staffing ambulances (not non-transport units).

       2. Ensure that when ambulances are staff, they have a minimum of a full BLS crew.

       3.   Notify Emergency Communications when the units are staffed.
                                                                         Recall of Personnel        75

                                            Appendix B

Planning for Emergency Operations Crisis Mode Personnel Recall and Altered Work

Schedule.

SCENARIO

   1. Single catastrophic incident that depletes on duty (normal) resources to a level that:

            a. There are insufficient resources to manage the incident

            b. There are insufficient resources to provide adequate fire, EMS and special

            operations services to the county.

   2. Multiple or County Wide event that depletes normal resources to a level that:

            a. There are insufficient resources to respond to all priority one calls for service.

            b. There are insufficient resources to provide adequate fire, EMS and special

               operations services to the county.

   3. Task Forces have been deployed out of the county and have reduced the available in

      county resources.

ASSUMPTIONS

   1. On duty levels of personnel may be significantly depleted and/or debilitated.

   2. County/Complex Command is established or needs to be established.

   3. CF&EMS is operating in a ‘Crisis Mode’ where extraordinary staff functions are

      required.

   4. Calls for priority one service are at an extraordinary level where increased numbers of

      operations units are required for a long duration (48 hours or more).

ALTERED WORK SCHEDULE

      General Directives
                                                                          Recall of Personnel    76

        1. Suspend all leave except sick leave

        2. Suspend all Overtime and Minimum staffing procedures.

        3. Administrative Finance Unit should activate to record overtime costs.

        4. Administrative Human Resource Unit should activate to make notifications of off

           duty personnel.

        5. CFEMS Administrative and Support Services should be able to maintain functional

        positions 7 days a week on a 24 hour basis.

- Continuous Duty – 100% of Operational Workforce.

        All Operations Division personnel are working.

        Maintain this level for a maximum of 48 hours.

- 24 hours on/ 12 hours off – 66% Operational Workforce working.

- One12 hour shift on incident scene, one 12-hour shift on station staffing, one 12-hour shift off

duty.

Maintain for a maximum of nine (9) calendar days.

- 24 hours on duty and 24 hours off duty – 50% Operational Workforce working.

- Divide one of the regular shifts in half. Assign each half to the other two shifts.

- Work on day on and one day off.

Maintain this schedule for up to 30 days.

PROCEDURES to recall off duty personnel when operating in crisis mode.

- Activated by: Chief, Deputy Chief, Sr. Battalion Chief

- Notifications: ECC to page FIRE STAFF for Recall

               ECC to page FIRE All for Recall

               HR Unit to telephone off duty personnel, maintain contact log.
                                                                         Recall of Personnel         77

Reporting Procedures and Personnel Assignments.

- Default reporting location for all personnel report to the closest fire station if member cannot

get to their regular or designated report location.

- Operations Battalion Chiefs report to assigned Battalion Office. Primary function is to staff

Operations Battalions and manage emergency operations on the battalion level.

- Operations Station Personnel report to their assigned station to pick up PPE and log in the

station log.

        First arriving company Officer will:

        1. Verify personnel log in

        2. Assemble recall personnel into functional crews consisting of one leader (second

        company officer or acting officer) and 3-5 firefighters. Crew should be organized by shift

        when possible.

        3. Notify ‘RESTAT’ of crew status.

        4. Assign personnel to units.

               Units to be staffed Rescue Units #39 and # 149, second out engines, Reserve

               engines and ambulances.

- Staff Battalion Chiefs report to Station 15, County Command. Functional Positions to be filled

- Planning Section Chief, Logistics Section Chief and Finance Section Chief.

- Battalion Chief to report to ECC

- Battalion Chief to report to EOC.

- Uniformed Staff Personnel report to Station 15, County Command. Functional Positions to be

filled Planning- Sitstat, Restat, Documentation; Logistics- Communications, Supply, Base,

Apparatus Support; Finance- Time unit, Cost unit.
                                                                   Recall of Personnel        78

       - Support field ICS positions

       - Perform support service functions.

Civilian Staff Personnel report to Fire Administration Building.

- Provide Administrative and Support functions on an extended schedule, 7 days a week @ 24,

16 or 12 hour basis as directed.
                                                                           Recall of Personnel   79

                                             Appendix C

                                   EAFSOEM Survey Questions

The following survey is being conducted as part of a research paper written for the Executive

Fire Officer program at the National Fire Academy. The paper deals with the recall of personnel

back to active duty during emergencies. These questions apply to both career and volunteer

personnel.

Please answer each question honestly and to the best of your knowledge.

   1.        Are you familiar with the CFEMS personnel recall procedure?

             a. Yes

             b. No

             c. Not sure

   2.        Do you maintain a communications device (pager, cell phone, etc.) that permits you

             to be readily contacted if a personnel recall is conducted?

             a. Always

             b. Frequently

             c. Sometimes

             d. Seldom

             e. Never

   3.        Is your contact information maintained in the Telestaff system up-to-date?

             a. Yes

             b. No

             c. Not sure
                                                                  Recall of Personnel     80

4.   Following a major emergency or disaster, if your family was safe and protected, are

     you likely to return to duty if contacted for a personnel recall?

     a. Yes

     b. Possibly

     c. Not likely

     d. No

5.   Following a major emergency or disaster, if your family’s safety or welfare was in

     question, are you likely to return to duty if contacted for a personnel recall?

     a. Yes

     b. Possibly

     c. Not likely

     d. No

6.   Following a major emergency or disaster, if your family’s safety or welfare was in

     question but they had a place of safe refuge, are you likely to return to duty if

     contacted for a personnel recall?

     a. Yes

     b. Possibly

     c. Not likely

     d. No

7.   Following a major emergency or disaster, if your family’s safety or welfare was in

     question but Chesterfield County maintained a shelter for them, would your family

     make use of the shelter?

     a. Yes
                                                                 Recall of Personnel      81

      b. Possibly

      c. Not likely

      d. No

8.    If your answer to Question #7 was yes or possibly, would you likely return to duty if

      contacted for a personnel recall?

      a. Yes

      b. Possibly

      c. Not likely

      d. No

9.    I am a:

      a. Executive staff member

      b. Career officer

      c. Volunteer officer

      d. Career firefighter

      e. Volunteer firefighter

      f. Rescue squad member

      g. Civilian member

10.   My tenure in the organization is:

      a. 0-5 years

      b. 6-10 years

      c. 11-15 years

      d. 16-20 years

      e. 21 years or more

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Categories:
Tags:
Stats:
views:3
posted:10/14/2011
language:English
pages:81